Laid off employees from Chukchansi Tribe's casino look for jobs

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, California. Photo © Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians

The closure of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians last month put nearly 1,100 people in California out of work.

Many are still trying to find new jobs. Maria Reyes, who was a cook at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, has an interview at a nearby tribal facility but she remains unsure of her future as the holidays approach.

"Oh my God, I look for another work, Oh, I wait to the casino open, oh I don't know what's happened," Reyes told KSFN.

Reyes was among 80 people who took part in sessions held by the Madera County Workforce Investment Board on Monday to help former Chukchansi workers with job training and other assistance. Some remain optimistic that the casino will reopen.

“Hopefully that will happen,” Aguilera Zamora, who worked for the casino for 10 years, told The Fresno Bee. At age 71, he worries it may be hard for him to find a new job.

The casino has been closed under a permanent injunction issued by a federal judge at the request of the state. The National Indian Gaming Commission also issued a notice of violation and a temporary closure order to the tribe

The closure stems from an armed confrontation at the casino between rival factions of the tribe. Fifteen people -- including two leaders of one faction -- have been charged with various crimes in state court.

The rival factions are under court-supervised mediation but a federal judge expressed concerns that there has been little progress in resolving the dispute.

Get the Story:
Laid off Chukchansi casino employees attend Madera resource fair (The Fresno Bee 11/18)
Help for laid off Chukchansi casino workers (KSFN 11/17)
New arrest, accusations in Chukchansi takeover attempt (KSFN 11/14)

Related Stories
Police chief from Chukchansi Tribe bails out in casino dispute (11/14)

Join the Conversation