MGM Resorts said it’s sending separation letters to one-quarter of its pre-pandemic workforce, that is, 18,000 of its previously furloughed employees. The Paradise, Nevada-based company, said it would recall more workers as it reopens its businesses and adds to its operations. In the meantime, MGM plans to continue health benefits for furloughed employees until September 30.
The entertainment, casino, and hospitality enterprise said the employees were furloughed in March because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but some of the job cuts may be permanent now. Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, MGM had 70,000 U.S. workers.
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM CEO, said: “Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this. 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 sent the remarks in a separation letter to MGM employees and hinted that some of the layoffs might not be permanent. The company also said that any workers who may be recalled by the end of the year would retain any seniority they’ve built during their careers at MGM.
Empire City, MGM’s New York casino and racetrack, and Park MGM, a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip, are both still shuttered. MGM’s other Las Vegas casinos are also seeing a stiff decline in tourism due to capacity restrictions and global travel slowdowns. Business groups and conferences which typically utilize MGM’s hospitality services are also having negative impacts.
According to federal law, workers must be told a separation date when furloughed for more than six months. August 31 will mark six months of separation for MGM’s furloughed employees.