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Viva, Las Vegas? Hospitality Unions Sue Vegas Casinos For Putting Workers In Danger Amid Pandemic




Vehicle traffic moves along the Las Vegas Strip as casinos are beginning to open for the first time since being closed on March 17 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on June 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Vehicle traffic moves along the Las Vegas Strip as casinos are beginning to open for the first time since being closed on March 17 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on June 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker/Getty Images

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Three unions have filed a lawsuit against three casino enterprises in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada over what they claim as dangerous working conditions. 

Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 against Harrah's Las Vegas and the Bellagio and Signature Condominiums represent some 60,000 hospitality workers in the two Vegas cities and allege that the companies have failed to protect workers against COVID-19. 

As Nevada prepared to start reopening parts of its economy last month, a team of medical experts recommended to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak that he require people wear masks in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The governor promoted masks but resisted making them a requirement. With reported coronavirus cases rising the past four weeks, Sisolak finally relented last week. 

Casino resorts in Vegas closed mid-March due to the novel coronavirus. By April, unemployment in the state  reached over 28%, topping figures in any state even during the Great Depression.

AirTalk checks in on Vegas’s reopening.

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

Joe Schoenmann, news director and host of State of Nevada, the daily talk show on KNPR, our sister affiliate in Las Vegas, Nev.; he tweets @joedowntownlv