Posted on: January 28, 2022, 11:56h.
Last updated on: January 28, 2022, 12:42h.
The Culinary Union is calling for the local health district to investigate worker claims against Caesars Entertainment’s Bally’s Las Vegas and Flamingo Las Vegas. Some workers are saying daily room cleanings are not taking place as required under new Nevada coronavirus pandemic rules.
Ted Pappageorge, president of Culinary Local 226, pictured above. He led a rally this week at the Southern Nevada Health District over allegations hotel properties are not getting daily cleanings. (Image: SNHD)
Under the Adolfo Fernandez law, hotels in Clark and Washoe counties must partake in more extensive cleanings. Other requirements include frequent washing of hands, wearing masks, COVID-19 testing, training, and the use of contact tracing to help prevent the spread of the virus.
However, several room attendants have contacted the union about the lack of daily room cleanings, according to a statement from the union. The union is asking the health district to determine whether these actions have violated the law.
The legislation was enacted in 2020 and is named for Adolfo Fernandez, 51, a utility porter at Caesars Palace who died in 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19.
These allegations are part of a wider union campaign to get more workers rehired.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, are Nevada affiliates of Unite Here. The Culinary Union represents 60,000 workers. Its members work as guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers.
Union Rallies Outside Health District
On Thursday, Jan. 27, the union held a rally outside of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) building in order to bring attention to the issue. Among those at the rally were hundreds of Culinary Union guest room attendants many from Bally’s Las Vegas and Flamingo Las Vegas, according to the union.
Our goal today is to send a message to the industry that these rooms need to be cleaned daily,” Ted Pappageorge, president of Culinary Local 226, was quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “In order to do that, you have to bring back enough workers to do that cleaning properly.”
During the protest, the union also called for casinos to rehire more workers.
Overall, some 20,000 workers represented by the union remain out of work despite recall rights in their contacts, Culinary Union spokeswoman Bethany Khan told the media outlet. “We cannot leave these [out of work] workers behind,” Khan added. “As business resumes, workers should come back, and we’ve been saying that.”
Health District Responds
Jennifer Sizemore, a district spokeswoman, told Casino.org the SNHD “systematically conducts inspections of all regulated facilities and responds to complaints. We do not have any further response at this time.”
As of Thursday, the SNHD had yet to receive the union’s complaints. Also, when contacted by Casino.org about the allegations, Caesars this week did not provide a response.