Del Lago Casino’s furloughed worker creates petition to reopen as operator planning to lay off over 1,000 staff

Del Lago Casino’s furloughed worker creates petition to reopen as operator planning to lay off over 1,000 staff

As Seneca County-based Del Lago Casino is pushing ahead with its plans to lay off more than 1,000 employees, a furloughed worker of the closed gaming facility has created a petition, urging concerned authorities to allow the facility to resume operations.

Valerie McIntyre, a table game supervisor at Del Lago, was furloughed soon after the casino was ordered to suspend operations in wake of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that allegedly originated in China and gradually spread to other parts of the world, killing more than half a million people.

The months-long closure of the gambling and entertainment facility forced the operator to consider permanent layoffs of 1,077 employees to cut costs amid continued hard economic conditions.

McIntyre, one of the affected employees, said in her petition that she was always worried about her and her dependants’ future due to potential permanent loss of job at the facility, where she worked for years. The furloughed woman stressed that she had been with the facility ever since it’s opening in February 2017.

Creating a petition, she wrote, “We are feeling the tightening," she said. "We are feeling what we are going to do if we don’t reopen. There is no talk about no re-opening, but we all know if a business stays closed for a long time, we’re facing a closing.”

While the layoff notice rolled out by the casino operator has classified the closure as "temporary plant closing," claiming that management of the gaming property intends to rehire all the affected workers and the decision is just a technicality mandated by state and federal authorities; affected workers are worried that they could lose their jobs permanently.

The petition created by McIntyre has already garnered more than 800 signatures, particularly from those who have also reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic-caused closures of businesses.

After being forced to close in March this year after the outbreak of the deadly corona virus pandemic, Del Lago Casino was expected to resume operations last month, during the state's fourth phase of reopening but it remains closed waiting for New York Gov. Cuomo’s permission to reopen. Casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes are already up and running as they don’t need abide by the governor’s orders to close or reopen.