Over 40 former employees of Pearl River Resort gathered in a parking lot on Wednesday to express their outrage over the recent layoffs, calling them inappropriate and disrespectful. Many of these people had worked there since day one.
"I gave them 10 years, and now I have nothing. We were escorted by police to the meetings and then out to our cars. We were treated like criminals," said Thomas Allard, a former floor manager at the resort.
Not only were their jobs terminated Monday, but also their insurance and benefits, retirement plans, and years of service. Many of them making almost $17 an hour, they claim the cuts were aimed at hiring cheaper labor.
"While we were being fired in one room, there was a group being hired in another room at a lower rate. If that was the issue, then why didn't they come to us and say 'would you be interested in taking your current job at a lower rate?'" said Jayne Alderman, former floor supervisor.
The main reason given for the layoffs was the lack of revenue on the table games, when a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed a $5.6 million revenue and an 18 percent increase overall. When Newscenter 11 contacted the casino about those claims and others, management declined to comment instead referring to comments made on Monday.
"We have more slot players at this point than we do table game players, so it is a smart move for us to reduce the number of table games in both resorts," said Jay Dorris, Pearl River Resort president in a Monday interview with Newscenter 11.
The casino maintains this was a sound business decision and says it handled the terminations in accordance with standard procedure. But many of those employees would argue otherwise. They say the problem with the casino is in the management.