Monday, December 22, 2008

Mashantucket Tribal Government Workers Agree To Buyouts

Feather News

Mashantucket Pequot officials reported on Friday that 286 tribal government employees indicated they would accept a severance package offered by the Tribe under a plan that seeks to cut government costs.

It is not clear how many of those employees will be let go by the Tribe. In May, the tribal government reduced its workforce by 170 employees and the new offer will further reduce the government workforce.

Both the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Nation have seen revenues at their casinos drop significantly.

Despite declines in casino revenue and an announcement on December 10 that the Mohegan Sun will have to refinance $330 million in debt that comes due in 2009, the Mohegan Tribe has not made any attempt to materially cut the costs of its government operations. The Mohegans are currently building a community center-government building that is estimated to cost about $100 million. Interest expense alone on the money borrowed to build the facility is expected to cost the Mohegan Tribe close to $7 million each year.

The Mashantucket Pequots are expected to announce the number of job cuts by December 31.

"The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation continues to align government spending with preserving essential government functions and long-term strategic objectives," according to a statement released by the Tribe on Friday.