Over 900 employees furloughed from Empire City Casino in Yonkers

To help furloughed employees, MGM is using a grant fund for financial assistance and partnering with companies like Amazon and CVS to provide temporary employment.

News 12 Staff

May 19, 2020, 10:00 AM

Updated 1,461 days ago

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More than 900 people have been furloughed from Empire City Casino in Yonkers, according to the Department of Labor.
MGM began the furloughs in March. Last week, it notified employees their jobs could be lost if the coronavirus shutdown isn't over by August 31.
Karen Leemou, of Local 1101, represents around 10% of those impacted. She says the focus is on balancing two different needs.

"We want everyone to get back to work, but we also care about safety so, it's kind of like juggling two things at the same time," says Leemou.
Local 1101's contract gives their employees the first chance to get their jobs back when the casino reopens. However, MGM President Bill Hornbuckle says some workers may not return within this year.

"We hoped that a significant portion of our operations would bounce back by the summer. Based on the current situation, we now believe that some of our colleagues may not return to work this year,” says Hornbuckle.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says a full gaming license could lessen this blow. He says the license would allow the casino to expand and increase revenue and jobs once it reopens.
"There is an opportunity, let's take it, and let's not allow 1,000 people to lose their jobs," says Mayor Spano.
A statewide casino expansion moratorium is in place until 2023 to promote growth for gambling sites upstate.

To help furloughed employees, MGM is using a grant fund for financial assistance and partnering with companies like Amazon and CVS to provide temporary employment.
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