Urban Institute   ·   Link to Article

Supporting Immigrant Families in Las Vegas

To fill this void, the Culinary Workers Union UNITE HERE Local 226 stepped up as an important resource for immigrant laborers by securing fair wages and free comprehensive health insurance and by providing health care, legal aid, and other supports to its members and their families. The union represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Nevada, many of whom work in Las Vegas casinos and hotels and of whom more than half are Latinx.11 Three years ago, the union opened its own health care center in east Las Vegas that provides primary care, urgent care, dental and vision care, and pharmacy services under one roof.12 According to an interviewee from the union, the union opened the health center primarily because health care services are scarce in the area of town where most of its members live, and the center will help ensure that members and their families receive high-quality, culturally and linguistically effective care that is accessible at late or early hours.


During the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Culinary Workers Union has become a lifeline to its members, almost all of whom have been furloughed. The union’s assistance has included securing continuous health insurance coverage, helping members apply for unemployment and access other benefits and resources, setting up a food pantry, disseminating critical information, and negotiating return-to-work conditions to safeguard workers’ health and safety.

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