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Two Nevada Unions Unite To Demand More Worker Protections

Andrew Mendez
KUNR Public Radio
Casinos have been closed since last month to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As Nevada begins to make plans to reopen the economy, two of the state's biggest unions are calling on corporations to do more to protect workers.

The Culinary Union represents 60,000 casino workers across the state, most of whom are out of work due to COVID-19.

Union Treasurer/Secretary Geoconda Argüello-Kline said since the shutdown, worker pay and protections have mostly been decided by individual casinos.

“Some of the companies, they pay two weeks. And some of the companies, they pay one week. And some of the companies, nothing,” she said during a press conference Tuesday.

The Culinary Union is joining with the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, which represents hospital workers. They are demanding that these companies do more to protect workers, including immediate investments in health, safety and training.

“Here in Nevada, we have some of the largest healthcare corporations in the nation. We are also home to some of the largest, wealthiest and powerful corporations in the country. We are joining together to demand that these corporations show true leadership,” said Brenda Marzan, president of SEIU Local 1107 in Las Vegas.

SEIU says it has seen some hospitals in the area make cuts, citing the lack of elective procedures that typically bring in more revenue.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
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