LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — MGM Resorts International announced the official layoff of 18,000 furloughed employees Friday, with separations beginning Monday, Aug. 31. MGM CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle made the official announcement following almost six months of the temporary closure of their U.S. properties due to COVID-19.
“…We’re forced to furlough nearly our entire domestic workforce. While we have safely resumed operations at many of our properties and have returned tens of thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry – and country – continues to be impacted by the pandemic, and we have not returned to full operating capacity,” said Hornbuckle.
It is unclear how many of them are here in Las Vegas.
8 News Now was told that layoff includes technicians on Cirque du Soleil shows.
Hornbuckle shared that MGM will continue welcoming employees back as their reopening plan progresses, regulatory restrictions are lifted, business demand grows and operations require additional support.
According to the statement, employees separated on Aug. 31 will remain on MGM Resorts’ recall list based on business needs, position and seniority. They’ll also stay on the company’s health care plan through Sept. 30.
Employees who return to work by the end of December 2021 will retain their seniority and immediately resume their benefits, according to the announcement.
But workers being laid off tell us they’re worried about making ends meet right now.
“I apply for two, three jobs a week, down to a job where I’m a forklift operator, and I don’t even get calls back for something like that,” shared one employee. “When there are no jobs available, and when you’re not receiving any jobs, any call backs, it’s very discouraging.”
Hospitality experts say we could see more of this.
“As the pandemic continues to go on, it may be that more casino companies find it necessary to lay off more employees,” said David G. Schwartz of UNLV.
To make ends meet right now, the MGM worker we spoke with says they cashed in their 401k.
“Knowing that’s your bread and butter for when you retire is a frustrating thing,” they said.
MGM’s full statement reads:
Dear MGM Resorts Colleagues,
It has been nearly six months since we temporarily closed all our U.S. properties due to COVID-19 and were forced to furlough nearly our entire domestic workforce. While we have safely resumed operations at many of our properties and have returned tens of thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry – and country – continues to be impacted by the pandemic, and we have not returned to full operating capacity.
For the protection of workers, federal law requires companies to provide a date of separation for furloughed employees who are not recalled within six months. Regrettably, August 31, marks the date of separation for thousands of MGM Resorts employees whom we have not yet been able to bring back.
I understand the impact this will have on these employees and their families. 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. We also are continuing to provide support and resources for these impacted colleagues.
First, we’ve extended health benefits for separated employees enrolled in MGM Resorts health care plans through September 30. We’ve prioritized supporting employees during these challenging times, and we will continue to do so.
I also want to emphasize that MGM will continue welcoming employees back as our reopening plan
progresses, regulatory restrictions are lifted, business demand grows and our operations expand and require additional support. The employees separated on August 31 will remain on our recall list, and we’ve established a seamless system to bring them back based on business needs, position and seniority.
Employees who return to work by December 31, 2021 will retain their seniority and immediately resume their benefits. All separated employees will maintain access to MyMGM, where they can continue to view and apply for jobs before postings are public, utilize reskilling and retraining resources, see the latest company news and maintain their employee profile.
We’ll also continue supporting current and former employees during these challenging times through the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund. Separated employees remain eligible for financial support from the Grant Fund through November 29, 2020, and we recently expanded its resources to provide additional assistance. In addition to a $5 million donation from MGM Resorts, the Emergency Grant Fund recently received another generous $2 million donation from the estate of MGM Founder Kirk Kerkorian, which has now given a total of $4 million to the Fund since March. More than $12 million in Emergency Grant Fund payments have been distributed since the beginning of the pandemic to support impacted employees and their families.
While the immediate future remains uncertain, I truly believe that the challenges we face today are not permanent. The fundamentals of our industry, our company and our communities will not change. Concerts, sports and awe-inspiring entertainment remain on our horizon. Trust me, we will bounce back from this – stronger and better than ever. And we will continue in our mission to entertain the world. Of that, we can all be certain.
Stay safe and be well,Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President
The official statement from MGM CEO and President added that all separated employees will maintain access to MyMGM, where they can continue to view and apply for jobs before postings are public.