International edition
September 28, 2020

The layoffs cover engineers, dealers and some waitresses in the casino, among others

Wynn cuts some staff and restores salaries for others

(US).- Casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn said this week that he is changing his strategy of managing labor costs during the recession in a move that will leave some workers from his Las Vegas casinos without a job, while restoring salaries for others.

W

hile some competitors implemented layoffs when revenues at Las Vegas Strip casinos plunged, Wynn has often boasted that he has never downsized the staff from the casinos he has developed there. However, his company, Wynn Resorts Ltd., cut costs for the two casinos he currently owns - Wynn and Encore - by reducing salaries and hours and eliminating the company's 401(k) contributions.

Under the new strategy, Wynn will lay off 261 workers, 3% of the work force. But the company will also restore to full time 2,300 workers who had seen their work weeks cut to 32 hours. He will also increase the salaries of 1,400 supervisors who saw their pay decrease 15% during the recession. That will add a total additional cost to the company of us$ 7.7 million, including the us$ 2.3 million it will save from the cuts, he said.

Wynn decided to make the change after hearing worker complaints about the reduced hours. Workers have also complained about losing money in tips, Wynn said in an interview. The cuts in wages, he said, are "what you do for the short term. It turns out not to work in the long run."

The layoffs cover engineers, dealers and some waitresses in the casino, among others. Competitors have lost thousands of workers in the last two years from both layoffs and attrition, even as new casinos were added to the Strip during that time. Staff at Wynn decreased by 800 to 900 as the company implemented a hiring freeze during that time, he said.

Wynn said that while the Las Vegas convention business is picking up, the market is still suffering from the additional rooms added from MGM Mirage's us$ 8.5 billion City Center resort and other new hotel towers.

He also said in the interview that he did not plan on moving his company's headquarters to Macau, the Chinese gambling enclave. Wynn had discussed the possibility of moving his company there when he opened his Encore Macau in April. His threat to move headquarters to Macau had prompted a strong reaction in Las Vegas.

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