Many MGM Resorts International workers have tested positive for Corona virus. The company closes its select operations. It includes Ohio’s Northfield Park. It was notified by the gaming giant to its employees on Friday night.
The employees were abruptly told about the layoffs and furloughs in the same correspondence. It apparently follows lower occupancy rates.
Luxor Hotel and Casino and the Wet Republic day club at the MGM Grand are the venues where the employees are likely to have corona virus. Workers who are coming in close contact with their colleagues will be asked for self quarantine.
MGM Resorts President and COO Bill Hornbuckle warned in that letter that “ We are now learning that several of our employees have tested presumptive positive for Corona virus, and we expect that there will be more in the coming days.
“Co-workers and those individuals who have had close prolonged contact have been notified,” the letter adds. “We are working with the health district to address these cases as quickly as we can.”
MGM has asked its corporate employees about who can work from home, can start doing so from next week. Hornbuckle said. “If you are feeling ill, please stay home and consider using our telemedicine options.”
The letter informed the workers that furloughs and layoffs will start next week. The layoffs will impact the front desk workers at the Mirage to Bellmen and Cocktail servers at Bellagio, to housekeeping staff at New York-New York. It is reported by the Las Review Journal, based on information from unnamed sources.
The exact number of workers affected by this move was not known on Saturday.
“This is a challenging time and it has been an especially difficult week,” Hornbuckle said. He asked that MGM workers keep likely corona virus infected employees “and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
“As the nation grapples with the effort to contain the corona virus, the travel industry has been challenged, and our company is no different. Business demand has decreased significantly.”
“We are working diligently to minimize the impact on our employees through furloughs and layoffs, which will begin next week. We will continue to pay our Flexible Time off (FTO) eligible employees on furlough for two weeks and our hourly employees can use all available Paid Time off (PTO) in their bank. We’ve also made the decision to maintain existing employees’ benefits, for individuals who are on our health plans and impacted by the layoffs or furloughs through June 30th.”
The letter further adds “These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families,”
The Culinary Union asks for Leave with Pay and the Health Benefits
The Culinary Union asked many Las Vegas casinos for paid leaves with other benefits for this Corona virus outbreak, earlier this week.
The Union requested for five days paid sick leave and no attendance points or discipline to a worker who becomes sick and is in quarantine.
The Union wants the workers to get paid leave with other benefits. It is for a worker who is in quarantine or whose family is in quarantine.
The Union wants six months of paid leave in an event of a layoff. The Union asked for more training and supplies to prevent corona virus. The casinos must also have high standard cleaning.
Ruben Garcia, Co Director of the UNLV Workplace Law Program told Casino.org about the union requests, in an interview just hours before MGM announced the layoffs and closings and the news about the infected workers were released.” It is a kind of necessary move on the union’s part”.
He elaborates that the Casino industry is “Little Bit under Strain”, because of the impact of the Corona virus outbreak. He predicts that this outbreak can be similar to the economic conditions at Las Vegas after the Sept 11th 2001 attacks or in the hardships in 2008 and 2009.
Garcia said that the workers got back the benefits after the union made the concessions after those economic issues.
Garcia added that “It’s clear from the Culinary Union statement; they understand their fortunes are tied to the casinos doing well and having business,”
MGM has increased its cleaning efforts in the casinos. The health related demands of the union are popular demands as they will be preventing the sick employees from coming to work.
House Passes Bipartisan Bill
The House of Representatives passed a National Corona virus Relief Bill on Saturday. This bill was backed by Donald Trump. It calls for paid emergency leave for workers and free tests for Corona virus.
The legislation allows for two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. It also adds federal funding for Medicaid. Congress approved an $8.3 billion corona virus relief bill last week.
MGM’s Bill Hornbuckle said in his letter to employees, “We are actively engaging with our industry colleagues, trade associations, and federal delegation on legislation being considered by the federal government to provide financial relief for America’s workers and businesses.”
Trump along with other government leaders have been meeting the corporate bigwigs. They want to work out the tax reliefs and emergency loans to corporations. It was reported by Politico that the Airlines and the Cruise Industry may be aided with other sectors. The hospitality sector may also be given government support.
It is not a “Bail Out” but more of an aid package, as per the administration officials.