MGM Intent On Automation And Job Cuts

Posted on 2019-03-19 by Sean Williamson

MGM AutomationIf the cost-cutting forces at MGM Resorts are successful with the implementation of their latest money saving strategy, then many of the entertainment group’s back-of-house employees may soon find themselves without gainful employment. Cashiers and bartenders may face the same fate too.

The casino and entertainment group recently revealed some of its workforce automation-plans, according to which, if successfully implemented, many positions could in future be made redundant and/or fully automated by intelligent machines. In other words, human resources will no longer be needed in order for those positions to function. An example of this, and also one that has already been specifically named as such by MGM is the method in which drinks are currently being prepared by non-customer-facing staff; i.e. staff who do not have direct or personal contact with customers, such as back-of-house bartenders mixing drinks for waiters to serve to the resort and casino’s customers. 

The Unions May Prove Problematic

Whether or not the group has consciously considered the fact that Nevada’s workers unions will most definitely not take any of the above lying down is another question altogether. The Culinary Workers’ Union (CWU) in particular, will not be happy about any movements in   the direction of machine-automation directed at replacing actual humans in the workplace.  Thanks to a new set of labour rules enforced on the casino group following certain agreements having been made as recently as June last year, most of the operator’s labour    policies fall under control of the union.

One of the specific provisions of the agreement with the CWU specifically refers to the    protection of jobs thanks to an agreed upon disallowance of any technology posing any form of threat to job security. If MGM were to press ahead with its proposed plans, and all indications are that this is in fact the case, the group best be prepared for a full-on labour war as a result of its blatant disregard of what was agreed upon with the union.

Murren: It’s Just Business

From MGM’s point of view, CEO Jim Murren seems intent on building the company at the expense of lower-income staff. Murren, upon recently addressing a group of investors, emphasised the fact that the entertainment giant wants to cut its current work force by 2,100 people over the course of the next year. According to the CEO, it’s nothing personal and nothing but business.