STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding gun violence protection in the workplace (SB452)



Saturday, May 22, 2021


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088  

STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding gun safety reforms (SB452):

The Culinary Union supports SB452 because allowing firearms in our casinos and hotels is a worker safety issue. While the Culinary Union supports legal and responsible gun ownership, we also believe all workers deserve to be protected from gun violence at work and SB452 will help make that a reality. 

SB452 would not discourage or prevent legal gun ownership and does not impede on responsible gun ownership. The bill includes commonsense measures which gives businesses the option to protect their employees and guests from gun violence in their own facilities. 

During the October 1st shooting in 2017, thousands of Culinary Union members saw first-hand the effects of gun violence. 5 Culinary Union members were injured in the mass shooting and countless other workers suffered PTSD after that tragic incident. The Culinary Union wants to ensure that no hospitality worker ever has to experience that trauma again.  

Gun violence on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown could threaten the economic recovery Nevada desperately needs. On the one-year anniversary of COVID-19, the Culinary Union still has approximately 50% workers unemployed as the state’s #1 industry – hospitality – was hardest hit during the pandemic. Economy recovery won’t be possible without workers getting back to work and being safe while at work. SB452 will protect workers and accelerate Nevada’s economic recovery. 

Lastly, we hear and understand the concerns regarding this bill. As the largest organization of immigrants and Black/Latinx/AAPI workers in Nevada, the Culinary Union is anti-racist and against all forms of racism and oppression. 

Our 86-year history in Nevada is filled with crucial fights for equality as we ensure working families are treated with respect and dignity. We will hold those accountable for equity and will continue to challenge and confront racism in the workplace, including to how this law is enforced. 

The Culinary Union urges the Nevada Legislature to support and pass SB452.       


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples.  

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for working families in Nevada for 86 years. / @Culinary226 


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