4 Atlantic City, NJ casinos don’t clean rooms daily, union says

ATLANTIC CITY — A union representing housekeeping workers at Atlantic City casinos said four of the resorts were not complying with a COVID-related requirement that hotel rooms be cleaned daily, and said called on the state on Wednesday to intervene.

Local 54 of the Unite Here union said state officials must enforce a 2020 order issued by Governor Phil Murphy requiring hotel rooms to be cleaned and disinfected daily. The rule was released as casinos reopened after a 3.5-month closure at the start of the pandemic.

The union filed a lawsuit Wednesday with the state Department of Community Affairs accusing Caesars, Harrah’s, Tropicana and the Golden Nugget of failing to clean every occupied hotel room each day as required by the ordinance, which , according to the state health department, remains in effect.

The Community Affairs Department said it is responsible for enforcing the daily cleaning requirement and has the authority to carry out inspections following complaints it receives. He declined further comment, noting that he had just received the union’s complaint.

“These janitorial people in Atlantic City are just part of a larger workforce that is systematically overworked and understaffed,” said Bob McDevitt, the union’s president who is in full discussion with the nine Atlantic City casinos for a replacement contract. those that expired at the end of last month.

The union presented the claims of several housekeepers that there are not enough workers to meet the demand to clean every room every day. The workers said their employers directed them to clean rooms where customers left first.

Teresa Lopez, housekeeper at Caesars, said the extra workload of cleaning the dirtiest rooms where trash has accumulated for several days is detrimental to her health.

“I feel more pain after cleaning these parts; I have to take pain medication,” she told a press conference on the promenade in front of the casino, adding that she had signed the complaint sent to the state.

Bina Vashi, a cleaner at Hard Rock who did not sign the complaint, added, “Right now we have to work even harder. These rooms are so dirty, dirty.

The phenomenon is not limited to Atlantic City. Hospitality industry leaders say the combination of a shortage of housekeeping staff and some guests’ reluctance to allow hotel workers into their rooms during their stay has led to the abandonment of a daily cleaning of the rooms standard at resorts across the country.

Three of the four casinos listed in the union’s complaint (Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana) are owned by Caesars Entertainment, which is at the center of the union’s bargaining efforts, as well as MGM Resorts International, owner of the Borgata, which has no been accused of inadequate cleaning. Caesars Entertainment declined to comment.

The union also said the Golden Nugget posted a sign at its reception in April informing guests that daily room cleaning was not available “at this time”, but that guests could request clean sheets and towels. .

Tom Pohlman, vice president and general manager of the Golden Nugget, said his casino “holds itself to the highest standards and all rooms are fully cleaned with a very strict protocol between all new bookings.”

“We inform hotel guests about available and on-demand housekeeping services upon check-in,” he said. “Whenever a guest requests housekeeping services, we absolutely honor that request.”

He said staffing for Golden Nugget, as is the case with other casinos, “has been an ongoing issue and there are times when staffing shortages don’t allow us to clean all nights. Due to COVID, many guests have not requested any cleaning during their stay, which averages less than two days.

But Patrick Stewart, executive director of the New Jersey Hotel and Lodging Association, said its members aren’t experiencing a shortage of housekeeping staff and that they “adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety at the work, and that includes additional state, local, and federal health and safety protocols enacted since the pandemic.

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This story has been corrected to show that one of the housekeepers quoted did not sign the complaint.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of the suggestions from our listeners, I have a few tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and meet an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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