Casino workers testify to Mississippi Gaming Commission

Workers at the IP Casino and Beau Rivage testified this morning to the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

The casino workers union, Unite Here Local 23, reported that 10 workers from the Beau Rivage and five workers from the IP Casino tested positive for COVID-19.

The union is calling for daily cleaning of hotel rooms, stronger enforcement of safety guidelines, including mask wearing and social distancing, and improved contact tracing.

Two casino workers testified to the gaming commission, expressing their concerns about their work environment.

One of the individuals that testified was IP Casino guest room attendant Carolyn Ford. According to Ford, she was called into work at the IP Casino prior to her COVID-19 test results coming in. “On Thursday, they were like can I come back to work but they hadn’t gotten my results yet and they said can you come back Friday and I was like no I can come back Saturday. The nurse called me and told me I was positive. What if I had went back to work, I could have spread it to my coworkers.”

Ford also shared with News 25 that IP Casino told her that asking her to come in before her results was an accident and they meant to call someone else, but Ford finds this unlikely. Unite Here Local 23 President Marlene Patrick said, “We have to make sure we are having continuous health and safety meetings every other week. So, we don’t feel like the company is being transparent as someone becomes positive or that they test positive or that they are doing contact tracing. So, it can trickle down to many workers that can trickle down to the guest.”

In the report the union submitted to the gaming commission it says that in a survey conducted at the Beau Rivage and IP Casino 70 percent of surveyed workers reported the casino guests rarely followed social distancing guidelines.

The Beau Rivage is responding following today’s meeting between the gaming commission and casino workers.

They say:  “At Beau Rivage we take the safety of our employees and our guests very seriously. Prior to reopening, we worked with health experts to develop our comprehensive ‘seven point safety plan’ and ensured that every employee was thoroughly trained. We work hard every day to ensure compliance by both employees and guests, especially when it comes to masks and social distancing. We have made it very clear that failure to enforce or comply with our health and safety rules could result in disciplinary action and we encourage employees to raise concerns either directly or anonymously.”

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