Melco Crown to offer some workers unpaid leave

New York (AP) – Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. said Wednesday that it will start offering some monthly unpaid leave and an optional voluntary sabbatical leave to its Crown Macau workers.

The company, which develops and owns casino resorts in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, said the moves were made with employee consent as it tries to deal with current economic conditions while simultaneously providing some job security.

The casino industry has been squeezed as consumers curb spending due to the continued housing downturn, diminishing credit, rising food costs and unemployment concerns.

Melco said it will offer Crown Macau workers unpaid leave each month of between two and three days, starting in December. It will also give the option for voluntary sabbatical leave for travel or study.

In addition, Melco said it has started a training program for local pit supervisors and dealers. Those that complete the program are guaranteed a promotion at either City of Dreams or Crown Macau.