Layoffs hit Gary’s Majestic Star
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3154 November 6, 2012 6:52PM
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:43AM
GARY — About 80 workers at Majestic Star Casino and Hotel have lost their jobs as the casino reshuffles its organizational structure in response to a soft regional economy, the company said Tuesday.
Majestic spokeswoman Chareice White said the casino has about 1,344 employees.
A statement from the company blamed the job cuts on the economy, seasonal business fluctuations and increased competition.
The company said it’s provided severance packages where appropriate and said employees would be eligible to be rehired if the climate changes.
The Chicago-based union that represents the workers, Unite Here Local 1, said the workers didn’t receive advance notice and some had worked at Majestic Star for as long as 16 years.
“I have bills to pay and a life to live. I was not prepared for this,” said Alisha Coleman who worked as a cook at Majestic Star for 12 years. “I don’t want to have to move in with my kids.”
Union spokeswoman Carley Karmel said the layoffs come as admissions at Majestic Star over the past 12 months are rising slightly over the previous year. Last month, Majestic Star took in a total of $15.8 million in revenue, just over the $15.7 million it recorded last year. She said the casino took in more than $200 million in gross receipts over the past year, making it the seventh highest grossing casino in Indiana.
Karmel said collective bargaining agreements that covered about 1,000 Northwest Indiana casino workers expired Oct. 31.
Following its emergence from bankruptcy last year, Majestic Star is now controlled by Minnesota-based Wayzata Investment Partners.
The union said it’s worried more cuts may be on the horizon.
“These out-of-state owners who control billions are coming to Indiana and taking away our jobs,” said Coleman.