Saturday, June 28, 2008

Foxwoods To Lay Off Less Than 200 Employees

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Foxwoods casino will lay off less than 200 middle-management and hourly employees, citing rising gas and food prices and the result of a review conducted by Foxwoods' interim President Barry Cregan.

The reduction will amount to about 1% of the total workforce at Foxwoods, according to the latest statements made by Foxwoods officials.

Cregan said, "This has been a difficult week for all of us. It is always sad to see fellow employees lose their jobs. As organizations develop, they often grow more than necessary during a sustained period of economic success."

Mohegan Sun officials said their plan is to reduce the casino workforce through attrition, meaning that when certain employees leave their job, the casino would not fill the position with a replacement.

The Foxwoods' laid-off workers will be paid two weeks severance pay for each year they were employed, up to 13 years, and health benefits.

The Mashantucket Pequot tribal government recently laid off 170 out of approximately 900 tribal government employees in a move to cut the cost of its government.

In related news, dealers at Foxwoods casino filed a complaint with the tribal gaming commission over a change in the way tips are distributed by creating separate tip pools at Foxwoods and the newly-opened MGM Grand at Foxwoods casino, both located on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation.

Dealers who voted to join the United Auto Workers union last November said that the new changes in the tip pool will harm dealers at Foxwoods if high-stake table games are moved to the MGM Grand casino run by the tribe next door to Foxwoods.

Since the November dealer's vote at Foxwoods, the UAW has been unable to negotiate with casino management.

Similarly, in Atlantic City, the UAW won representation to unionize dealers at 4 casinos in Atlantic City but cannot get casino management to sit down and negotiate with them. The UAW won votes at Trump Plaza, Caesars, the Tropicana Casino and Bally's Atlantic City. The UAW lost elections to organize dealers at Trump Marina Hotel Casino and the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort.

About 3,000 newly-unionized casino employees held a rally last Saturday in Atlantic City to protest the stalled talks between the casinos and the UAW.