By Steve Patterson
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – It was an emotional day on the boardwalk in Atlantic City Sunday as it was closing time for the Showboat Casino.
On Labor Day weekend, it was the worst kind of Irony as nearly 2,000 employees lost their jobs.
“Everybody was in tears today,” 23-year veteran Angela Brockerman tells CBS3 Eyewitness News.
Before the summer is over – 12 Atlantic City Casinos will be down to only eight – and nearly 8,000 workers will be jobless.
“Eight-thousand families in an eight-month window of time is an economic disaster,” former employee Ruthann Joyce says.
Joyce was hired along with her husband as bartenders when the casino originally opened nearly 30 years ago.
“It’s very difficult for the guests it’s very difficult for the employees. It’s a sad time in Atlantic City.”
Joyce and her husband are among the 470 workers being transferred to another site by parent owner Caesar’s Entertainment. She was quick to point out there’s no guarantee:
“Being re-positioned within the company doesn’t guarantee you work. If you’re not working, you’re not getting a paycheck. If you’re not getting a paycheck, you’re still on unemployment.”
Brockerman was not re-positioned. Now, like so many others, she’s faced with the uncertainty of unemployment after two decades of a place she called home:
“I’ll just give it to God I guess,” she says. “Have to keep praying.”
Up next for many of these workers – the Atlantic City Convention Center is setting up a resource center for many of the workers who were laid off here. That will be on Wednesday.
As for now, many of them will be looking for work.
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