A.C. hotel to house foreign visa workers

A.C. hotel to house foreign visa workers

There are 17 comments on the CourierPostOnline story from Nov 22, 2008, titled A.C. hotel to house foreign visa workers. In it, CourierPostOnline reports that:

Pinnacle Entertainment put its big casino plans on ice, but next month the company will open a hotel.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at CourierPostOnline.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#1 Nov 22, 2008

Courier-Post

A.C. hotel to house foreign visa workers

By WILLIAM H. SOKOLIC Courier-Post Staff November 22, 2008

ATLANTIC CITY Pinnacle Entertainment put its big casino plans on ice, but next month the company will open a hotel. The Madison House, part of the acquisition of the former Sands in 2006, will rent to foreign students coming to the area to work on a J-1 visa.

Students from South America arrive first. Come early spring, those from Thailand and the Philippines will arrive. The majority of foreign workers come in the summer, mostly from Eastern Europe.

The 110-room hotel is only open to those visa holders who participate in an international student exchange program, which usually includes an offer of employment, often at wages lower than their domestic counterparts in the United States. Workers will pay $80 a week per person to stay at the Madison.

"We have been reaching out to the business community asking them to keep us in mind. Casinos, non-gaming hotels, all the restaurants at the Pier Shops and The Quarter, rolling chair operators, whoever we can think of that might hire these students," said Pinnacle spokeswoman, Carmen Gonzales.

Foreign students also staff Wawa's, amusement parks and other businesses up and down the Shore, said Richard Perniciaro, associate dean of the Center for Regional and Business Research at Atlantic Cape Community College.

How many that entails remains to be seen. The Madison opening comes at a time when layoffs in the United States are on the rise as the economy falls into a tailspin. Most of the casinos here have issued pink slips in recent months, and those put out of work have a legitimate beef should the hotels offer jobs to foreign students, Perniciaro said.

Last year, Trump Entertainment Resorts employed around 75 foreign students in its three casinos.

"We will have a lot less this year, if any," said Judy Fisher, executive director for human resource administration for the company. "I don't think any of us know what the economic climate will be like. This year may not be a good year for J-1 visas," Fisher said.

Still, Trump Entertainment may hire workers to assist with housekeeping in the summer. Staffing guest room attendants still poses a problem, Fisher said.

"I wasn't sure the casinos would think the Madison was a good idea or a bad one. But they seemed excited because it's a challenge to find housing," said Pinnacle Atlantic City CEO, Kim Townsend.

Foreign students bear responsibility for finding their own housing, Fisher said.

"Students are savvy enough to do this on their own. But our position is to try to assist them in getting to a reputable real estate group," she said.

The Madison is a great step forward in those efforts, Fisher said. "It's convenient for students."

Said Perniciaro, "There's always been an issue where to house workers. If not for the economic downturn, everyone would congratulate Pinnacle for this."

Pinnacle imploded the Sands in October 2007 to make way for a proposed $1.5 billion casino. However, the company has shelved its plans in the wake of tightening credit markets fueled by the floundering economy.

"I'm optimistic the economy will be better and the casinos will rebound," Townsend said.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#2 Nov 22, 2008
November 20, 2008 Letters to the Editor
Atlantic City Press

What about
laid-off workers?

Perhaps instead of yet another fluff piece, The Press should concentrate on some relevent journalism. The real news in the "Nov. 10 story, "Madison House reborn in A.C.," was not where these poor J-1 students will be able to live in Atlantic City, but why they are even permitted to get jobs here during the most epic unemployment crisis this town has ever seen. Every casino in this city is laying off actual taxpaying citizens in record numbers? What about us?

Perhaps Local 54 President Bob McDevitt, who usually never misses an opportunity to get his name in print, should step out of his office and step up for the laid-off Local 54 members who make up this community.

First, he should be looking into the real motivation behind the rash of firings that have gone on this last month at some properties.

Secondly, along with the Casino Control Commission and Mayor Lorenzo Langford, he should be pushing for a moratorium that would prevent casinos and other businesses from hiring J-1 visa holders before filling the jobs with laid-off workers or other qualified taxpaying residents.

Perhaps the Madison House should consider renting its rooms at such affordable prices to the newly unemployed county citizens who won't be able to make ends meet when their jobs are filled by cheap outside help.

Finally, perhaps the casino industry moguls should consider the promise they made to this community for a better life, instead of just worrying about their bottom line. Remember us?

STEPHANIE BAKER

Ventnor

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#3 Nov 22, 2008
In response to Stephanie Baker letter;
The 11.10 Press article about the Madison House was silly.
Number one, it was a company press release, not a news story. The Pinnacle company has a 2 million dollar a year rent payment on the Madison House. So, let them make money anyway they can. But really, the reporter should do some checking first.
Number two, J-1 Visa students come in late Spring, usually mid-May, with specific entry and exit dates on their visas, under specific employment contracts signed at home. If things do not work out with the employer they look elsewhere. I have never known of any J-1 Visa students, from South America or anywhere, to arrive in the dead of winter looking for work.
Number three, if hired by a casino for a Local 54 job, they are hired as seasonal employees. That is hired between 5.1 and 9.30, and employed for no more than 120 consecutive days, and paid seasonal rate (the lowest and no benefits paid.) When hired, there is a Local 54 business agent right there, getting the Social Security numbers and signing them up for authorization to deduct union dues from their pay checks. The J-1 Visa students never work more than the 120 day seasonal cut off period. Otherwise, retro benefits would have to be paid on them to the Health and Welfare fund. This is clear contract language.
Number four, the J-1 Visa students usually quit their jobs one or two weeks before the visa expiration date to do some sightseeing before returning home.
Come spring and summer of 2009, if any Local 54 jobs are filled by J-1 Visa students, without laid off members being recalled first (even if past the six month recall date) then I predict the end of Local 54 in Atlantic City at the expiration of its contract in September 2009.
I don't understand why Local 54 hasn't commented on the story, specifically the J-1 Visa student employment status in Local 54 jobs.

Posted by: adultbookstore on Sat Nov 22, 2008, 12:53 PM
good ole times

Linden, NJ

#4 Nov 22, 2008
EminentDomain wrote:
November 20, 2008 Letters to the Editor
Atlantic City Press
What about
laid-off workers?
Perhaps instead of yet another fluff piece, The Press should concentrate on some relevent journalism. The real news in the "Nov. 10 story, "Madison House reborn in A.C.," was not where these poor J-1 students will be able to live in Atlantic City, but why they are even permitted to get jobs here during the most epic unemployment crisis this town has ever seen. Every casino in this city is laying off actual taxpaying citizens in record numbers? What about us?
Perhaps Local 54 President Bob McDevitt, who usually never misses an opportunity to get his name in print, should step out of his office and step up for the laid-off Local 54 members who make up this community.
First, he should be looking into the real motivation behind the rash of firings that have gone on this last month at some properties.
Secondly, along with the Casino Control Commission and Mayor Lorenzo Langford, he should be pushing for a moratorium that would prevent casinos and other businesses from hiring J-1 visa holders before filling the jobs with laid-off workers or other qualified taxpaying residents.
Perhaps the Madison House should consider renting its rooms at such affordable prices to the newly unemployed county citizens who won't be able to make ends meet when their jobs are filled by cheap outside help.
Finally, perhaps the casino industry moguls should consider the promise they made to this community for a better life, instead of just worrying about their bottom line. Remember us?
STEPHANIE BAKER
Ventnor
Remember all the Russian students that came over to Atlantic City for summer jobs as chair pushers, which politician was behind all this? obviously Some one with ties to Russia,look at the jobs they are taking away from local Atlantic City people?
J1 visa student

Zdunska Wola, Poland

#5 Jun 13, 2009
I'm a J1 visa student, the past four summers I spent in AC working at Harrah's.

In summer 2007 and 2008 I was hired by the casino for a local 54 job (cocktail waitress, buffet server). Every month The Union was taking some money from my pay checks.

and you are asking:
"I don't understand why Local 54 hasn't commented on the story, specifically the J-1 Visa student employment status in Local 54 jobs.?"

Because J1 visas student still have to pay Union, even though they are working about 3 months, so they can't get any benefits, they only have to pay.
Ishmael

Wyckoff, NJ

#6 Jun 13, 2009
J1 visa student wrote:
I'm a J1 visa student, the past four summers I spent in AC working at Harrah's.
In summer 2007 and 2008 I was hired by the casino for a local 54 job (cocktail waitress, buffet server). Every month The Union was taking some money from my pay checks.
and you are asking:
"I don't understand why Local 54 hasn't commented on the story, specifically the J-1 Visa student employment status in Local 54 jobs.?"
Because J1 visas student still have to pay Union, even though they are working about 3 months, so they can't get any benefits, they only have to pay.
yes, but remember does the eastern block counties offer jobs for unemployed Americans? NO, instead they send students here to work from Poland and Russia. No wonder you had to pay union dues here, you had to, because Americans can't find work here and we have to pay the unions to protect our jobs..... very ironic.
Fabian

Nashville, TN

#7 Jun 13, 2009
Ishmael wrote:
<quoted text>
yes, but remember does the eastern block counties offer jobs for unemployed Americans? NO, instead they send students here to work from Poland and Russia. No wonder you had to pay union dues here, you had to, because Americans can't find work here and we have to pay the unions to protect our jobs..... very ironic.
If Americans were willing to do that type of work on a short term basis at the wages the casinos pay the J1 Visa students, I'm sure the casinos would gladly hire them. It's absolutely wrong to make someone pay union dues when there is no way they will get asny benefits from those dues. Besides, a large number of the students go on to become doctors, lawyers, politicians,etc(one that was here last year is now the assistant director of tourism in his home country). A large number of the students come from affluent families and come back to the US after they graduate on vacation and to visit friends they have made while they were here. All in all, the program is a plus for the students, the casinos and AC. By putting your best foot forward, you've now created good will ambassadors for AC that will go home and tell their friends and relatives about AC and how it is a must see destination. Thereby creating long term jobs.
Ishmael

Wyckoff, NJ

#8 Jun 14, 2009
Fabian wrote:
<quoted text>
If Americans were willing to do that type of work on a short term basis at the wages the casinos pay the J1 Visa students, I'm sure the casinos would gladly hire them. It's absolutely wrong to make someone pay union dues when there is no way they will get asny benefits from those dues. Besides, a large number of the students go on to become doctors, lawyers, politicians,etc(one that was here last year is now the assistant director of tourism in his home country). A large number of the students come from affluent families and come back to the US after they graduate on vacation and to visit friends they have made while they were here. All in all, the program is a plus for the students, the casinos and AC. By putting your best foot forward, you've now created good will ambassadors for AC that will go home and tell their friends and relatives about AC and how it is a must see destination. Thereby creating long term jobs.
My dear friend Fabian! Fabian!, I'M so surprised at you, you are one of the smartest and brightest individuals on this forum, and i enjoy reading your positive posts all the time, but please Fabian, American workers first and that includes you!
Don't pander to the idea that bringing in foreign help is good for relationships, Atlantic city doesn't need cheap labor, they need to create good paying jobs for Americans,
If a casino can suck a person dry in about 2 hours of so called slot or table play it makes no sense for the same casino to try to exploit workers to get cheap help and lock out Americans.
Please don't fall for the bullshit that Americans won't work those chair pusher jobs or waiter jobs that Russian and polish students come here and take.
I have many friends who are living under the boardwalk and can't find a decent job in Ac, yes they would work for minimum wage if they could get benefits too. But the casinos are only interested in the investors bottom line so they can get more money from them to invest.
Help your fellow American out and protest against the jobs being taken away from them, even if it is a so called summer student job
Fabian

Nashville, TN

#9 Jun 14, 2009
Ishmael wrote:
<quoted text>
My dear friend Fabian! Fabian!, I'M so surprised at you, you are one of the smartest and brightest individuals on this forum, and i enjoy reading your positive posts all the time, but please Fabian, American workers first and that includes you!
Don't pander to the idea that bringing in foreign help is good for relationships, Atlantic city doesn't need cheap labor, they need to create good paying jobs for Americans,
If a casino can suck a person dry in about 2 hours of so called slot or table play it makes no sense for the same casino to try to exploit workers to get cheap help and lock out Americans.
Please don't fall for the bullshit that Americans won't work those chair pusher jobs or waiter jobs that Russian and polish students come here and take.
I have many friends who are living under the boardwalk and can't find a decent job in Ac, yes they would work for minimum wage if they could get benefits too. But the casinos are only interested in the investors bottom line so they can get more money from them to invest.
Help your fellow American out and protest against the jobs being taken away from them, even if it is a so called summer student job
I've been hearing that story for years and it's so full of holes it's ridiculous. If Americans wanted those jobs, the casinos woiuld not be hiring the students. They are jobs are advertised and everyone in AC knows the casinos hire summer employes to carry themn through the busy season. Unfortunately a lot of younger Americans expect to start at the top and will not work for lower wages. As you said, they may take a lower wage but they also expect benefits. Well, cointrary to popular opinion, benefits cost money. Also, remember these are part time summer jobs, not long term full time jobs. There are benefits in bringing in foreign workers for these jobs. One these students pay rents and utilities while here. They also do a lot of shopping for themselves, friends and relatives. Most work 90 days then vacation for 30 before going home spending money in AC and other parts of the US. Even in this recession, there are jobs out there. If your friends wanted to find one, most probably could. You talk about not wanting the jobs because they get no benefits, tell me what kind of benefits does living under the boardwalk offer? You've got to start somewhere and unfortunately, it may be at a low paying part time or temporary job with no benefits. However, it all adds up to a work history making you eligible for better paying full time employment.
Ishmael

Wyckoff, NJ

#10 Jun 14, 2009
Fabian wrote:
<quoted text>
I've been hearing that story for years and it's so full of holes it's ridiculous. If Americans wanted those jobs, the casinos would not be hiring the students.
Theres a darker side to this argument Fabian, it's called the casinos bottom line. When casinos use third world tactics to keep wages low on a multi billion dollar business, they undermine the American dream. Yes youngsters can start from the bottom many should, and would love the chance, but my friends who spend their nights wandering the casinos floors looking for cash, sleeping together in sleeping bags under the boardwalk have been to the AC so called job training programs, they don't offer them much, full time work to sweep floors or clean toilet bowls instead they hire mostly Indians. The reason is they get Indians and foreigners cheaper then anyone else. Is that a reason to deny Americans jobs? No!! you know that's not right. a decent income of 40 hours a week plus benefits like days off, payed vacation, sick time and health care are basic needs. AC needs to stop offering third world jobs to Americans and give people hope that one day they can work themselves up to a shift supervisor or casino marketing manager. not stuck at a dead end job with little or no benifits.
Your success story is unique because you had the guts and will power to make it work , now you get to travel and see other country's and all on a modest income. but you had hope i'm sure no one dashed your hopes with a dead end job offer. you wouldn't have stood for that im sure.
Fabian

Nashville, TN

#11 Jun 14, 2009
Ishmael wrote:
<quoted text>
Theres a darker side to this argument Fabian, it's called the casinos bottom line. When casinos use third world tactics to keep wages low on a multi billion dollar business, they undermine the American dream. Yes youngsters can start from the bottom many should, and would love the chance, but my friends who spend their nights wandering the casinos floors looking for cash, sleeping together in sleeping bags under the boardwalk have been to the AC so called job training programs, they don't offer them much, full time work to sweep floors or clean toilet bowls instead they hire mostly Indians. The reason is they get Indians and foreigners cheaper then anyone else. Is that a reason to deny Americans jobs? No!! you know that's not right. a decent income of 40 hours a week plus benefits like days off, payed vacation, sick time and health care are basic needs. AC needs to stop offering third world jobs to Americans and give people hope that one day they can work themselves up to a shift supervisor or casino marketing manager. not stuck at a dead end job with little or no benifits.
Your success story is unique because you had the guts and will power to make it work , now you get to travel and see other country's and all on a modest income. but you had hope i'm sure no one dashed your hopes with a dead end job offer. you wouldn't have stood for that im sure.
Actually, they have. Working as a security guard or graveyard shift in a convenience store is not exactly the best way to make a million. However, my belief is that the best time to look for a job is while you have a job. That way you don't have to settle for the dead-end jobs. So I worked at those dead-end jobs while I looked for something more akin to my skills and preferences.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#12 Jun 27, 2009
Are workers staying at the Madison House this summer?
kathyH

Bayonne, NJ

#13 Jun 27, 2009
Very sad but I dont think they want the foriengers this summer,
i was takling to a atlantic county politician (sorry cant say his/her name) and they are thinking of ending the program with the xchange students because economy as bad it is
Boardwalk knowitall

Ridgefield Park, NJ

#14 Jul 7, 2009
EminentDomain wrote:
Are workers staying at the Madison House this summer?
The MADISON house is CLOSED. The property was bought by the Pinnacle Corp., and left abandoned. The sexy Russian students you are looking for might be staying at the Ascot Motel or Crown motel.
chelsi

Atlanta, GA

#15 Nov 25, 2010
where do i find a job. I'm a j1 student
Cali

Atlanta, GA

#16 Nov 25, 2010
We have jobs available

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#18 Oct 26, 2011
For a limited time, the Relationship Capital Co. is offering free job search training for your unemployed readers at: http://RelationshipCapital.CO/JobNetworkingPr...

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Pinnacle Entertainment Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Pinnacle Entertainment deals in Wells Fargo as ... (Dec '13) Dec '13 ora501 1
News Law Office of Brodsky & Smith, LLC Announces In... (Jan '13) Jan '13 Kosal Da 2
whats going on at river city casino. (Sep '12) Sep '12 leo 1
News Construction begins on the Margaritaville Casin... (Mar '12) Mar '12 JRF 2
News Mississippi Nights' Final Jam Session Occurred ... (Feb '12) Feb '12 EminentDomain 1
News MGM Resorts, Creative Casinos agree to develop ... (Feb '12) Feb '12 EminentDomain 1
November 2, 2011 (Jan '12) Jan '12 Take that PNK 1
More from around the web