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Culinary Union says it is monitoring COVID-19, asks casinos to meet

Updated March 9, 2020 - 6:28 pm

With two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County, Culinary Union Local 226 said it is monitoring the virus and is asking casino officials to meet and discuss the effects of the outbreak.

Union spokeswoman Bethany Khan declined to provide additional comments for this story and did not respond to other requests for comment related to COVID-19.

According to a union statement sent to members Saturday, Local 226 is “working very hard” to monitor the effects of the outbreak on its more than 60,000 members, some of whom work in properties that are stepping up cleaning efforts amid the outbreak.

The union is “sending requests to all of the casino companies to meet immediately and bargain on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak,” the statement reads.

“The coronavirus is here in Nevada and in the next few months, we will be tested on our resolve and unity. ”

According to Caesars Entertainment Corp. spokesman Richard Broome, the company meets regularly with union partners “on issues that affect Caesars team members, including Coronavirus.”

MGM Resorts International spokesman Brian Ahern said, “Nothing is more important to us right now than the health and safety of our employees and our guests. We are in close consultation with the leadership of the Culinary Union and will work with them to address their concerns.”

Spokesmen from Wynn Resorts Ltd., Red Rock Resorts and Boyd Gaming Corp. declined comment. A spokeswoman for the Nevada Resort Association did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the national hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE, is demanding national legislation for paid sick days.

According to UNITE HERE’s website, the union is formulating proposals for steps that can be taken if workers become sick or if their workplaces are closed temporarily.

“This is essential for the safety of both workers and the customers they serve,” according to a Thursday statement from UNITE HERE. “We strongly believe that whatever monies Congress allocates towards virus response must take into account workers’ time and include paid sick leave. Not everyone can afford to take time off when they’re sick.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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