Las Vegas Labor Union Applauds Federal Vaccination Mandate
A new order by President Joe Biden regarding vaccination mandates within businesses is receiving mixed reviews in Las Vegas.
Late last week, President Joe Biden announced that employers with 100 ore more employees must require COVID-19 vaccinations among the work force. For those who are not vaccinated, weekly testing must occur. The plan also includes federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated, as well as health care facilities that accept Medicaid or Medicare payments. A major union in the city of Las Vegas is happy with the mandate while a business advocacy group is not. Las Vegas is home to many businesses that have more than 100 employees, especially within the gambling industry.
Culinary Union Approves
The Culinary Union Local 226 is in approval of the federal mandate with Secretary Geoconda Arguello-Kline stating that the Union remains vigilant in its effort to ensure all employees are protected at work. They urge all hospitality employees to be vaccinated if they are not already, as the shot is safe, proven, and effective.
The Vegas Chamber has other thoughts. The group does feel that employees should get vaccinated, but they do not feel that a presidential order should be in place mandating that everyone take the shot. In a statement, the Chamber said that many companies like themselves have adopted a policy of giving employees a choice to take the shot or be tested regularly.
The Chamber is concerned that the mandate by the federal government via a presidential executive order sets a troubling precedent and creates a ‘slippery slope’ when it comes to mandates in the future for employees and their employers.
The large businesses in Las Vegas that meet the employee count have already adopted similar policies, so the federal mandate is unwarranted. Just last month, MGM Resorts International announced the newly hired employees and salaried employees must be vaccinated by October 15.
Will There Be Employment Issues?
With the new federal mandate, will it cause future issues with hiring and maintaining employees in the gambling sector? Most casinos across the United States have more than 100 employees as they offer gambling services, restaurant dining, drink service, and other forms of entertainment. Some companies have thousands of employees on their payroll.
In some states, casino companies have had difficulty finding employees to work as casinos began to reopen at 100% capacity after long-running COVID-19 operating restrictions. Some employers have even offered sign-on bonuses or other incentives to try and entice potential employees to come work for them.
Will the new restriction of being vaccinated or testing cause some employees to quit their position within a company or not seek employment in the sector? This remains to be seen. It could be that there is just enough people willing to be vaccinated in the areas where the casinos meet the employee total criteria to avoid any issues.
In the south, people are far less likely to be vaccinated, so this could hurt the venues found on the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana. Because people feel that COVID-19 is a hoax in the south, or not as bad as people say, they are less likely to wear a mask or take the vaccination. This could potentially lead to issues with employment among the larger gambling facilities, but only time will tell if it really becomes an issue.
We may even see further mandates in the future if the virus continues to develop new and more deadlier strains. For now, larger companies will have to adhere to the mandate and it would not be surprising to find some type of legal challenge at some point as there is a major divide among US citizens when it comes to the precautionary measures needed for COVID-19.