Culinary Union calls on Caesars Entertainment Corporation to protect workers

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union calls on Caesars Entertainment Corporation to protect workers 

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary Union and Bartenders Union calls on Caesars Entertainment Corporation to protect workers and change a dangerous “Do Not Disturb” policy that has put thousands of Las Vegas guest room attendants in danger. 

After the recent October 1 tragedy in Las Vegas, the Culinary Union has been negotiating a host of proposals, including stronger safety language for workers, which includes looking at the companies’ corporation-wide policy on “Do Not Disturb” rooms. The Culinary Union has raised issues with the Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s policy which allows a guest to hang a “Do not disturb” or “Occupied” sign for more than 24-hours requesting that they want privacy and don’t want anyone to come into the room. 

At a recent negotiating session with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the Culinary Union proposed the following contract language:

“…For security purposes…If a guest refuses entry to housekeeping employees for more than 24 hours. the Employer's security shall open the guest's room for entry and service by housekeeping employees and shall remain in or next to the room as long as the Security Department deems it necessary to protect the safety of housekeeping employees...”

“Having rooms with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ on for days makes me shaky. I am constantly going into a room that staff hasn’t been in for 4+ days and never know what I’m going to find when I open a door: It could be completely trashed room or a dangerous situation,” said Amalia Urciel, a guest room attendant at the Bally’s, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation property. “We work hard to provide for our families and we deserve to have more security at work.”

“I’ve been in a room with empty gun shells laying around and I feel very uncomfortable being alone in the room in situations like that,” said Diana Thomas, a guest room attendant at the Flamingo, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation property. “I never know what’s going to happen and I don’t feel secure at work.” 

The Culinary Union also proposed new language to protect workers on the job. Several guest room attendants and cocktail servers shared stories of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse from guests and high rollers in the workplace.

“I was carrying a heavy tray full of drinks on the casino floor, and a high roller at the dice game grabbed me by the neck with both of his hands and forced me to kiss him for good luck,” said Deborah Jeffries, a cocktail server at Bally’s, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “I have permanent nerve damage from that incident and I live in pain everyday.”

Caesars Entertainment Corporation negotiators claimed that security policies and procedures currently in place were sufficient, which stunned the Union negotiating committee. The company has rejected the proposal and didn’t make sufficient responses to the other safety proposals the Culinary Union made.

“I don’t understand how a major hospitality company like Caesars Entertainment Corporation can reject such a safety proposal that would ensure their workers are secure,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “To not protect their largely female workforce is disgraceful and we are frankly, shocked. We will continue to fight this and will inform the thousands of women we represent in Las Vegas of this companies’ shameful behavior.”

The Culinary Union is asking that those who believe that workers should be protected on-the-job to call Caesars Entertainment Corporation at (702) 407-6000 and/or Tweet at @CaesarsEnt and let the company know that they should do better.

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ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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