Culinary union: State casino reopening guidelines don't go far enough

Tuesday 5th May 2020

The culinary union says the state Gaming Control Board's casino reopening guidelines are inadequate and has issued its own six-page list of health and sanitation guidelines for gaming facilities.

In a videoconference Tuesday, union leaders also vowed to "call out" regulators, government officials and casino companies that fall short of their expectations.

"There can be no shortcuts," said D. Taylor, international president of UNITE HERE, the umbrella organization for Culinary Local 226 in Nevada. "There can be no volunteerism by companies to do the right thing. This has to be mandated in the strongest possible terms."

The union's guidelines emphasize prevention, protection and enhanced cleaning protocols with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.

Taylor praised the reopening plan of Wynn Resorts Ltd. -- but said it still fell short of what's necessary -- and blasted remarks made by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

"There has to be state or municipality enforcement and mandates," Taylor said. "We have seen already, for example, the mayor of Las Vegas essentially say, 'Just open it up. We'll see what happens,' like we're rats in a lab. So we can't rely on examples of politicians like this."

Taylor said gaming regulators across the country have the ability to dictate what standards are set for a casino reopening.

"If that is not used, then I think every public official who's responsible for the gaming control board should be scrutinized and, frankly, be held accountable if workers and guests become affected because we have not taken steps necessary to protect the workers and the public from the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

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