The entertainment, hospitality and gambling giant, Hard Rock International, announced on Monday that they’re spending over $100 million to raise the salaries of 10,000 of their non-tipped staff.
The immediate increase to a new $18 to $21 hourly rate (starting salary) is designed to help those Hard Rock team members with the worryingly rapid inflation witnessed in the US and much of the rest of the world.
Hard Rock is also looking to lessen employee turnover while attracting top talent.
The raise will also reach some salaried employees, who’ll be rewarded for their merit. Some employees will see a raise as high as 60%.
The $100 million dollar raise will apply to cooks, housekeepers, front desk clerks, security workers, cage cashiers and 90 other job types in the company.
“We looked at all the starting salaries of all our (front) line employees, certainly recognizing the economic conditions that have been going on,” Chairman and CEO, Jim Allen, stated. “We just wanted to do something to really help out and show appreciation to our employees. We’re trying to find the highest quality employees, thanking them for their efforts and recognizing that with compensation.”
Up to half of Hard Rock’s U.S. workforce will see an increase in their salaries.
David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said “It will give Hard Rock a competitive advantage at a time when labor is relatively tight. The service industry may be at a crossroads, and raising pay is one way to attract excellent employees.”
Wages in the casino industry at large are increasing due to a number of factors that include a labor shortage and rising salaries in other fields – attracting those who’d otherwise continue to remain in the jobs.
In July, Atlantic City’s casino workers union reached a “historic” contract with all nine of the city’s casinos, signing off on the largest salary increases ever granted for casino empoyees in New Jersey. The $18 hourly starting rate is part of that agreement, which includes housekeepers earning $22 an hour in the fourth year of the deal.
“It’s going to have a big impact everywhere they operate,” said Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite Here, the union that negotiated the Atlantic City deal. He believes Hard Rock setting a national salary scale “is a great move.”
$18 an hour is over 2x higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and also exceeds the local minimum wage of every state the company operates in.
For example, an entry-level worker in Florida will be compensated between $8 and $11 above the state’s $10 an hour minimum – equating to more than $16,000 per year.