MGM replacing workers with robots

Trials of employee automation are moving from Massachusetts to Vegas

MGM Resorts wants to save $100 million from its payroll expenses. In order to do this, it has begun trialing the possibility of using automation in certain aspects of the operations at its MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts and is now ready to move the robots west. It will reportedly introduce automation for some jobs in Las Vegas, possibly eliminating as many as 2,100 positions.

Automated beverage systems are taking the place of some back-of-house bartenders in MGM’s facilities. The company’s director of corporate media relations, Brian Ahern, states, “These technologies are an example of our work to drive innovation that enhances customer satisfaction and support the most important factor in personalized guest service: our employees. We are focused on utilizing technology in smart and effective ways that elevate our employees’ ability to deliver a superior guest experience.”

The move most likely won’t be appreciated by labor unions or the employees they represent. One union, Culinary Local 226, ensured that its workers were covered by contractual obligations when it negotiated with MGM last summer, and the company has to give notice of at least six months before introducing any changes that could force workers out. The company is also obligated to try and find new positions at the company for any employee who is let go.

It seems like MGM could reduce expenses through other cost-cutting measures that don’t involve forcing out those who have made the company successful. After all, with consolidated net revenue last year of $11.8 billion and a CEO who makes almost $9 million a year, there certainly seems to be other alternatives besides leaving 2,100 workers unemployed.

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