Las Vegas Union Says Caesars Entertainment Forcing Hospitality Workers to Enforce ‘Do Not Disturb’ Policies
Posted on: May 4, 2018, 09:00h.
Last updated on: May 4, 2018, 09:21h.
A Las Vegas union says Caesars Entertainment has rejected a proposal to have security personnel first enter a hotel guestroom that has hung a “do not disturb” sign for more than 24 hours.
Culinary Workers Union 226, a 57,000-member strong labor group that represents housekeepers, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, bellmen, and cooks, wants casino security to be the first to enter such guestrooms. Union leaders say forcing housekeepers to perform such tasks falls beyond the scope of their responsibilities and training.
The Culinary Union states that Caesars rejected a proposal that would require security employees to be the first to open doors to rooms whose occupants have requested staff to keep out.
“To not protect their largely female workforce is disgraceful and we are frankly shocked,” Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline said in a statement. “We will continue to fight this and will inform the thousands of women we represent in Las Vegas of this companies’ shameful behavior.”
Caesars implemented 24-hour room checks in February. However, the casino operator hasn’t resolved how such inspections will be carried out after the union fought back against the company’s original plan to have housekeepers perform the tasks.
Several casino operators rolled out new hotel procedures in the wake of the October 1 Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead.
Stephen Paddock was able to set up an arsenal of sorts in his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite over a period of several days. The gunman kept housekeeping out during his stay, and continued to load in guns, ammunition, and even a makeshift security surveillance system leading up to his rampage.
Boyd Gaming took the lead in saying guestrooms would be checked every 48 hours. Caesars said its rooms would be examined every 24 hours, and Wynn Resorts went even further, saying a “do not disturb” sign will only keep staff out for 12 hours.
Steve Wynn said in February before the sexual allegations bombshell against him that anyone “sequestered in a room for more than 12 hours” should be looked at.
UNLV hospitality profession Mehmet Erdem opined recently that such policies are “not going to stop a mass shooting. It may make some people feel more at ease, but hotel employees will need to be very careful not to infringe on guests’ privacy.”
Culinary Union members who attend to Caesars guestrooms say opening up a door that’s requested privacy for multiple days comes with plenty of worry.
“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 four-plus days and never know what I’m going to find when I open a door,” Amalia Urciel, a Bally’s housekeeper, explained.
Flamingo guestroom attendant Diana Thomas added, “I’ve been in a room with empty gun shells laying around and I feel very uncomfortable being alone in the room. I never know what’s going to happen and I don’t feel secure at work.”
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