Japanese casino in Manila to shed over 1,000 workers amid pandemic

Wednesday 27th May 2020

MANILA (Kyodo) -- A luxury hotel and casino in Metro Manila under the Japanese gaming group Universal Entertainment Corp. will let go of more than 1,000 employees, due to losses from the coronavirus pandemic, an internal document showed Wednesday.

Okada Manila President Takashi Oya said in an email sent to employees the previous day that retrenchment affecting a third of the resort's workforce is needed for the business to remain viable.

Okada Manila, a $2.4 billion oceanfront casino-resort complex, has suspended operations since mid-March in response to the government's efforts to curb the spread of the new virus.

"Not having any revenues since the lockdown has been financially draining and caused severe losses to the company," Oya said, adding that those who will be laid off will receive separation pay in accordance with Philippine labor laws.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, the country's biggest labor organization, said it will extend assistance to people affected by the layoffs.

"Some employees ask for advice on what are the mandatory separation wages and benefits that they can get," Alan Tanjusay, the organization's spokesman, told Kyodo News.

Okada Manila, a 44-hectare complex in Paranaque City that includes two towers housing 993 hotel rooms, is operated by Universal Entertainment via Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. It was founded by Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada.

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