Features, Municipal Government, National

Culinary Union to Ask Vegas Hotels to Provide ‘Panic Buttons’

February 1, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—When Las Vegas’s Culinary Union begins contract talks with casino-resort operators next month, it will ask them to give each of the more than 14,000 housekeepers it represents a “panic button” to send out alarms about sexual assault. “We want safety for all the workers,” UNITE HERE Local 226 secretary-treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline told The Associated Press. “We know what’s going on with sexual harassment. No woman should have to go through that.” The union did not list specific incidents of harassment, but at least two men have been arrested in the last seven years for punching and sexually assaulting housekeepers working at Las Vegas hotels. Housekeepers represented by Hotel Trades Council Local 6 in New York City have had panic buttons since 2013, after a maid accused International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her. Seattle passed a law in 2016 requiring hotels to give panic buttons to employees who work alone in guests’ rooms, and Chicago did last October. Local 226’s contracts, which cover 50,000 workers in Las Vegas’s gaming and hospitality industries, expire May 31. Read more

February 1, 2018

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