Hard Rock spends $100 million to raise wages for non-tipped US staff

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) — Hard Rock International, the global gaming, entertainment and hospitality company, said Monday it is spending more than $100 million to give significant raises to 10,000 non-tipped workers, most of them in the U.S. .

The raises, which include an immediate increase in the minimum starting wage from $18 to $21 an hour, are designed to help workers deal with persistent inflation and help the company attract and retain top talent, reducing employee turnover. employees.

Some employees will also receive increased increments.

In some cases, employees will receive an immediate 60% raise. The raises apply to 95 job classifications, including cooks, housekeepers, front desk clerks, security guards and cage cashiers.

“We reviewed all of the starting salaries of all of our (front-line) employees, of course recognizing the economic conditions,” said Jim Allen, the company’s president and CEO. “We just wanted to do something to really help and show appreciation to our employees. We strive to find the highest quality employees, thanking them for their efforts and recognizing this with compensation.”

Hard Rock said the raises would go to half of its U.S. workforce.

“It will give Hard Rock a competitive edge at a time when labor is relatively tight,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “The service industry may be at a crossroads, and raising wages is one way to attract great employees.”

It comes as wages in the casino industry, like many others, are rising due to a number of factors, including labor shortages and rising wages in other sectors that lure casino workers.

In July, Atlantic City’s main casino workers’ union reached what it called a “historic” contract with the city’s nine casinos, providing for the largest wage increases ever given in a New Jersey casino agreement. It calls for a starting hourly rate of $18, and classifications such as housekeeping will earn $22 an hour in the fourth year of the deal.

Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite Here union that negotiated the Atlantic City contract, said Hard Rock’s setting a national wage scale “is a great move.”

“It’s going to have a big impact everywhere they do business,” he said.

Representatives for several other national casino companies did not respond to questions Monday about their payout rates.

The $18 hourly starting wage announced Monday by Hard Rock is 2 1/2 times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and exceeds the local minimum wage in every state the company operates in, Allen said .

An entry-level worker in Florida, for example, will get an immediate pay raise of $8 to $11 an hour above the state’s $10 an hour minimum wage. The hourly raise equates to more than $16,000 a year.

In Atlantic City, an entry-level wage earner will receive up to $6 an hour above the state’s $13 an hour minimum wage. That equates to an annual increase of more than $10,000, from $27,040 to $37,440, the company said.

Hard Rock is owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida. It has 265 locations in 70 countries.

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