Permanent layoffs at Greektown Casino will begin in September

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Greektown Casino Hotel is laying off employees, a result of the pandemic's impact on the company, according to a letter obtained Tuesday by the Detroit News.

In the letter dated June 12, the hotel’s general manager John Drake said that the company is reducing its workforce, resulting in permanent layoffs. The layoffs will impact 621 employees, according to a notice filed with the state under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Permanent layoffs at Greektown Casino will begin in September.

Layoffs would begin Sept. 15 or during the 14-day period after that date, according to the letter.

“This layoff will be permanent, but the facility will remain open,” the letter states. It also cites bumping rights for affected union employees.

Messages to Greektown Casino and the president of the union that represents Greektown Casino employees, Unite Here Local 24, were not immediately returned.

In the letter, the company cites that the layoffs are "the unfortunate result of COVID-19 related business circumstances that were sudden, dramatic and beyond our control. The impact on our business was not reasonably foreseeable until now. We simply could not foresee, that the initial closures of our properties, that were issued by one or two states for a limited period of time, ultimately spread throughout all states in which we operate and eventually be extended, interrupting almost all business and travel temporarily." 

The layoff notice at Greektown come as Detroit’s three casinos are poised to reopen when given the go-ahead by the governor.

The three casinos have struggled with financial losses since they were ordered closed March 16 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Their year-to-date combined revenue of $299.2 million was down by 51.6 % through May compared with $617.9 million in combined revenue reported for the same period in 2019, the Michigan Gaming Control Board said last week.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN