Nevada’s Largest Union Calling for Face Masks for Everyone to Protect Employees

The Culinary Union Local 226 of Nevada is asking legislators on a state and county level to step and help protect casino employees by requiring face masks for everyone on property, including guests. The union plans on taking legal action if the requirement is not met.

Representing Employees

The union represents employees in the casino sector who work in housekeeping, at restaurants and dealers of table games. During a virtual news conference on Monday, representatives of the union discussed how they want the economy to get better and for employees to be able to work. Employees want to work but they also want to be safe while doing so.

What the union is asking for is that Nevada institute a similar order like neighboring state California. Governor Gavin Newsom made it clear that everyone in a public place must wear a face mask. The union would like to see the same so employees will safer while at work.

There are four issues that the union is focused on currently, when it comes to reopening and operating during the pandemic:

  • They want mandatory masks for everyone in public spaces, including guests
  • Mandatory testing for employees before they return to work for COVID-19 as well as regular testing to follow
  • Rooms are cleaned daily
  • More time dedicated to deep cleaning

Little Mask Wearing

During the virtual meeting, employees from casinos in Las Vegas discussed how they are concerned about what is taking place at their place of work. They are estimating that around 10 to 20 percent of those who are visiting are wearing a mask.

Employees are worried about catching the virus and bringing it home to loved ones who fall into the at-risk categories. The Culinary Union has reported that at least 17 employees or their family members have died from COVID-19. The union is still seeing positive cases among its members.

Most employees are more concerned about bringing the virus home to their children or spouses than catching it themselves. Members of the union are asking for an added layer of protection as they provide services to the public.

In a press release, the Culinary Union stated they agree with Dr. Fermin Leguen, the Southern Nevada Acting Chief Health Officer, who stated that the employees of local businesses are putting themselves at risk to provide services to members of the public who are not wearing masks.

Without requiring that everyone wear masks, the reopening process is putting gaming and hospitality workers at risk as well as their communities and families, along with the general public.

It will be interesting to see if leaders of the state decide to implement this requirement. So far, it does not look as though they will be requiring masks among the entire public. However, the Culinary Union will most likely not wait long to take legal action to see that the action they wish to be a requirement become a reality.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.