LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Culinary Union, SEIU 1107, National Nurses United, and UFCW 711 sent letters to elected Nevada officials, including Nevada legislative senate and assembly representatives, the Las Vegas city council, and Clark County Commissioners, urging that they ensure workers have the highest standard of personal protective equipment, also known as PPE’s, by passing regulations and holding hearings that address safety issues.

“Healthcare, retail, hospitality, delivery drivers, and all other essential frontline workers across Nevada (and the country) report that they are not receiving the proper staffing, PPE, education, and communication from their employers needed to protect Nevadans from this devastating pandemic,” said Grace Vergara-Mactal, Executive Director SEIU Local 1107. “At a moment when we are asking frontline workers to step up and protect people, we must be able to protect them as well.”

The Culinary Union, SEIU 1107, National Nurses United, and UFCW 711 represent over 100,000 workers across Nevada. In the letter, the coalition urges elected officials to do the following:

  • Prioritize legislation and action at the state level to protect the health and safety of working families.
  • Call on the gaming industry, hospital corporations, and grocery stores to provide the optimal PPE and masks for all workers, customers, and guests.
  • Require customers and guests in the gaming, hospital, and grocery industries to wear masks.

“We believe that all workers dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, whether it’s healthcare workers, cafeteria workers, casino workers, public service workers or grocery store workers — deserve to be protected,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for Culinary Union. “Essential workers put their lives on the line each day to keep us healthy, they support frontline healthcare workers, and they get us what we need to make it through this crisis. All workers deserve the highest level of protective gear to protect themselves and their families during this pandemic. No worker should fear getting their families sick because they don’t have the right protective gear.”

“Workplace protections, including optimal PPE, to prevent worker exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 must be based on the precautionary principle—that employers should not wait for proof of harm before taking action to protect workers—and on the growing scientific knowledge regarding transmission of this virus: that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections play a significant role in the rapid spread of this virus and that this virus is transmitted not just through contact with contaminated surfaces and large respiratory droplets created by sneezes or coughs, but also through small respiratory particles that remain suspended in and travel through the air,” said Zachary Pritchett, RN, National Nurses United.

“Working people must have a seat at the table to address this crisis and during the ongoing recovery process,” said Mike Gittings, President UFCW Local 711. “Our unions demand it,and we need the help of elected leaders to ensure working families are protected.”