LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Culinary Union on Wednesday is calling on Nevada landlords to freeze rents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release, the Culinary Union, citing Nevada's state of emergency eviction moratorium that is in place, said it is requesting that landlords pledge to freeze rents at their current rate for one calendar year and consult with tenants over post-emergency grace periods and fair payment plans.
“98% of Culinary Union’s 60,000 membership have been put on unpaid furloughs or laid off since mid-March,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union. “A rent freeze, grace periods, and fair payment plans are critical as workers have been abandoned by their gaming industry employers during this global crisis without any further pay.”
According to the release, in addition to asking landlords to post Nevada’s state of emergency eviction moratorium for tenant’s information, the Culinary Union says it has informed landlords that if they threatened tenants or implemented unfair or predatory payment plans, the union would "let workers know of 'bad actor' landlords and/or rental companies via a Housing Guide for Renters that would be published later this year."
The Culinary Union noted that it represents 40,000 workers employed by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corporation, who are "large and cash-rich." Many workers, according to the union, are still trying to claim unemployment benefits, "as these two companies have not agreed to any further payments after the first two weeks of a nearly seven-week closure."
The Culinary Union says it is working with housing advocates and the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to provide advocacy and free legal assistance to its members and their families.