MGM Resorts International has reportedly sent separation letters to 18,000 of its U.S. employees who had been previously furloughed amid the pandemic and its catastrophic impact on the hospitality and gaming industries, taking their job cuts from temporary to permanent, at least for now.
Federal law requires companies to notify workers of their official layoffs if they remain on furlough for longer than six months. August 31, when the announced layoffs will become effective, will mark six months’ worth of administrative separation for much of MGM Resorts’ workforce, reported CNBC.
At the start of 2020, the company employed 70,000 U.S. workers, which means it’s letting go of 25 percent of its labor force. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that nearly 63,000 MGM employees were involuntarily furloughed this year amid COVID-19’s virtual shutdown of the travel and hospitality industries.
MGM Resorts’ President and CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, wrote in today’s letter to employees that “tens of thousands” of the company’s workers have thus far been called back since Las Vegas—where MGM Resorts has the bulk of its business—was able to reopen in June. Still, bars and other venues remain closed, the business and conventions market is still shut down; and hotels and casinos that have reopened are operating under strict guidelines and occupancy restrictions. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported that Sin City’s visitor volume was down 61 percent during the month of July in comparison to 2019 figures.
“I understand the impact this will have on these employees and their families. Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this,” Hornbuckle wrote in the letter. “The heart of this company is our employees and the world-class service you provide. Please know that your leadership team is working around the clock to find ways to grow our business and welcome back more of our colleagues.”
Hornbuckle also expressed that MGM Resorts hopes to bring back affected workers as consumer demand grows and business picks up. Those whose jobs are cut will remain on the company’s recall list and those who are brought back on board by December 31, 2021, will retain their seniority and immediately resume their benefits. All employees who are laid off on August 31 will also retain their health benefits through the end of September.
“While the immediate future remains uncertain, I truly believe that the challenges we face today are not permanent,” Hornbuckle wrote. “We will bounce back from this — stronger and better than ever. And we will continue in our mission to entertain the world.”
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