Majestic Star cuts nearly 80 workers

2012-11-05T18:00:00Z 2012-11-06T07:41:04Z Majestic Star cuts nearly 80 workersBowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
November 05, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

Majestic Star Casino & Hotel has cut nearly 80 positions in Gary in the last couple weeks as a result of changes in its organizational structure and economic conditions, a company spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Majestic Star spokeswoman Chareice White said the employment reductions began in late October and included union-represented and non-union personnel.

White said the employment reductions are complete for now and the two casinos and hotel still employ about 1,344 people in Gary.

A statement from Majestic Star said the company made the difficult decision to restructure after analyzing "regional economic softness, seasonal business fluctuations and increased competition." However, the statement said the employee base is now better positioned to meet the needs of the property, customers and planned growth.

White said people who have lost their jobs could rehired if the economic situation changes.

Carly Karmel, spokeswoman for the Chicago-based Unite Here Local 1, said current and recently separated employees remain worried that more position cuts could be forthcoming.

After working at the casino for nearly 12 years, Gary resident Alisha Coleman said she was laid off Oct. 31. People who have worked at the casinos long enough have seen various business cycles, but she said people still employed there are worried about whether they will be able to keep their job.

"They are walking on eggshells," said Coleman, who worked as a cook. "The look on their faces, it's like I haven't seen before."

Revenues at Majestic Star gaming boats fell by 1.2 percent to nearly $111.9 million and 10 percent to $93.8 million in 2011 compared to a year earlier. In five of the first nine months of 2012, both vessels had lower monthly revenue totals compared to the same month in 2011.

In late 2011, Majestic Star Casino exited a nearly two-year-long Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding with new owners. In February, the new owners named Peter Liguori as president and CEO of the Majestic Star Casino LLC and its parent company.

White said the corporate restructuring also included position cuts at a casino the company owns in Tunica, Miss.

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