Survey of Las Vegas Room Attendants Reveals Current Challenges

The loss of a daily room cleaning mandate has created difficult working conditions.

October 19, 2023

A report recently published by a Las Vegas culinary union examined the work challenges currently being faced by the area’s hotel guest room attendants.

From April to August of this year, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 conducted a survey of 1,846 guest room attendants working in Las Vegas Strip properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Wynn Resorts to create the report, The Human Cost of High Hotel Profits. The same union staged informational pickets just last week and is in negotiations for a new five-year contract.

The report reveals excessive workload as one of the major concerns affecting hotel guest room attendants. Of those surveyed, 66% said they have been asked to do cleaning tasks that wouldn’t normally fall under their responsibilities, such as cleaning heavy bed linens and removing trash, and 67% reported that management did not provide adequate cleaning supplies and equipment to do their job.

Additionally, in May 2022, a Nevada bill was signed into law that removed a COVID-19 pandemic requirement for hospitality rooms to be cleaned on a daily basis. According to the survey, 99% of the respondents now find rooms take longer to clean upon checkout.

“I want to clean guest rooms every day. When rooms are not cleaned daily, there is excessive work,” Elena Newman, a Las Vegas guest room attendant, stated in the report. “There is soap scum built up in the bathroom, lots of trash in the room, and it takes a lot longer to clean and vacuum the rooms. It gives me a lot of stress because I get behind on my work. When we aren’t able to complete our workload, we can get disciplined.”

The report also suggested that current working conditions might be taking a physical toll on guest room attendants, as 88% reported having pain or discomfort while working and 57% saw a doctor for work-related pain or injury.

“As a working mom, daily room cleaning is important so that I can have the strength to go home to my family, make dinner, and be with my kids,” survey participant Elizabeth Renteria said in the report. “After my shift most days, my entire body is in pain, and I have to take pain medication daily. On the days where I only clean checkout rooms, my back and arms hurt. Because I’m going as fast as I can, I am worried that I’ll slip and fall or get hurt trying to keep up with the workload.”

Recently, according to Nevada Current, the culinary union leadership placed blame for the current working conditions on Nevada legislators due to their removal of the daily cleaning mandate, accusing them of turning their backs on guest room attendants and threatening to strike over the issue.

Ted Pappageorge, the culinary union’s secretary-treasurer, told Nevada Current, “We have not set a deadline [for a strike], but I can tell you it’s going to happen in the next few weeks and certainly before Formula 1.” Pappageorge was referring to Las Vegas’ upcoming Formula 1 Grand Prix race event scheduled to occur in mid-November and predicted to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the area, as well as billions of dollars in revenue.

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