Local News


Hotel-casino workers asking for panic buttons in the wake of #MeToo and 1 October shooting

Posted at 11:49 PM, Jan 24, 2018

The 50,000 members of the Culinary Workers Union who work at hotels and casinos downtown and the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas are asking for more protection. Those workers include cooks, bartenders, housekeepers as well as food and drink servers.

These are all jobs that require employees to often have close contact with both guests and other workers. As they negotiate a new contract, the union is asking for stronger language condemning sexual harassment and for panic buttons that would allow workers to immediately contact security if they are in a threatening situation. 

Geoconda Arguello-Kline is the secretary and treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226. 

 "The companies know that people need to be more safe," said Arguello-Kline.  "I think everyone is aware of what happened in the city and what's happening in the country right now."

Those companies include Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts. Arguello-Kline points out that business has improved significantly since the last five year contract extension, making the case for higher wages.

"You can see the boom. The economy is doing good in Vegas right now." 

Arguello-Kline said both companies have indicated they will work with the union to improve safety. Negotiations begin next month and both sides have until May 31st to reach a deal.