Study reveals heightened health and safety risks at Station Casinos



Tuesday, April 2, 2019


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Study reveals heightened health and safety risks at Station Casinos

LAS VEGAS, NV — A recently published article in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reveals that, at a major Las Vegas casino company, “’[m]anagement's lack of concern’ creates a negative environment whereby employer‐controlled factors jeopardize employees’ health and safety.” The article was based on an independent, blinded analysis of working conditions at several Station Casinos properties. A follow-up study of working conditions at Palms Casino Resort, which was acquired later by Station Casinos, is being considered. Station Casinos is the operating subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRR).

“This study paints a comprehensive yet sobering picture of the ‘on-the-ground’ realities of the occupational health and safety challenges confronted by non-union hospitality workers in Las Vegas,”[i] said Dr. Diana Romero, the article’s primary author, who is an associate professor at the CUNY School of Public Health.

The peer-reviewed article is the result of focus groups and surveys conducted between March and July 2015. The study involved 61 guest room attendant, porter, kitchen, and front-of-house employees from eight casino hotels of one Las Vegas gaming company, which the Culinary Union has since identified as Station Casinos.

The study’s authors found a lack of training and proper supplies, understaffing, faulty equipment, issues surrounding break and meal periods, job vulnerability, perceived discrimination, and exposures that negatively affect the health and safety of employees – all within a context of a perceived lack of concern for employee health and safety by management.

The Culinary Union has heard from employees at the Palms, which was acquired in 2016 and not included in the original study, about their health and safety concerns.

“When Station Casinos took over the Palms the first thing they did was remove the health first aid kits that’s why now when we get hurt, we have to call the security officer so he will bring us first aid supplements,” said Maria Meyer, a cook at the Palms for 14 years. “He decides if they take us to the clinic, this takes him between 10 and 15 minutes.”

The Culinary Union is considering a follow-up study of working conditions at the Palms.

Taking guidance from the study’s recommendations, the Culinary Union has trained employees at two of the Station Casinos – Boulder Station and Palace Station – in hazard identification and control. The Culinary Union has also negotiated for participation on joint labor-management safety committees. Unfortunately, the workers on these committees say they are given little opportunity by management for input and they lack decision-making ability within the current structure set by the company.

“There isn’t much dialogue, we don’t do walkthrough inspections for hazards, and we don’t investigate accidents,” said Cammie Callihan, a bartender at Palace Station for 18 years.

Station Casino workers at four Las Vegas properties have unionized following NLRB elections: Boulder Station (September 2016), Palace Station (March 2017), Green Valley Ranch (November 2018), and The Palms (April 2018).

Station Casinos is the third-largest private-sector employer in Southern Nevada with 10 casino hotels and 10 casino taverns in the region. Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an IPO in 2016. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, billionaire supporters of President Donald Trump. In addition to the unionized Boulder Station, Palace Station, Green Valley Ranch, and Palms, the company’s other casino-hotels in Las Vegas include: Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, and Fiesta Rancho.



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 280,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 84 years. / @Culinary226


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