ALBANI – Harry Rice has worked for 45 years Horse riding and preparing to compete in the Saratoga Racing Course, Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park.

Then, for years, he lost his job.

A.D. About half of NYRA’s full-time employees were out of work.

“This was a financial problem and people don’t understand that running is not just your livelihood but your life. He missed her, ”said Rice. “It was a tough fight for everyone.”

Rice and several other NYRA employees were re-employed by NYRA, which returned the head count to pre-epidemic stages.

But some workers argue that even if they return to work, the race is much smaller than before the epidemic, and they are not being given enough shifts to make a living. Some workers endured long-term unemployment during the outbreak.

Officials at one of the unions say the NYRA plans to launch a public campaign soon, demanding that workers be paid 40 hours a week or equal pay.

In a statement, NYRA fired: UnprecedentedHe said staff members in “painful” and client-facing roles have been severely affected by the lack of physical activity. NYRA operations have been hampered by unprecedented locks and physical competition, in the early days of the epidemic, and for several months without being physically present on body tracks.

Thanks to the NYRA, the federal government is planning to gradually lend its employees to a $ 10 million paycheck (PPP) loan, to keep employees employed and to run small businesses. Federal loans may be waived in whole or in part based on companies meeting certain requirements to protect their wages. NYRA said the loan was fully forgiven.

Important organizational decisions during the CVD-19 epidemic allowed the NYRA to continue its business, re-establish the importance of live television and mobile betting, and re-launch the NYRA Bets and emerge from the crisis for future success. ”Said Patrick McCena, NYRA’s director of communications.

A.D. The company said NYRA 821 hired full-time workers on the roads before the Coroner virus took over the United States on March 1, 2020.

The PPP program was created on March 27, 2020, when Congress approved the first federal outbreak fund.

NYRA approved the PPP loan on April 12, 2020, with a small business administration, employing 453 people at the time, according to the SBA report. The program was only open to companies with 500 or fewer employees.

According to the NYRA, “Temporary frustration and dismissal occurred at the height of the crisis between March 16, 2020 and April 27,” McKena said. This means that there have been some kidnappings and mishaps since the NYRA loan was approved.

McKena said this was because some of the customers working in front of an audience without a spectator were out of work and were temporarily frustrated. He said some workers had returned to work during the outbreak, while others had been suspended. NYRA continues to provide all health benefits to workers on Furlow.

On May 1, the number of full-time NYRA full-time employees was 442, shared by NYRA. Then, over time, as NYRA resumed live racing and finally brought fans to the stops, the company began to hire staff.

In December 2020, NYRA 191 reinstated additional full-time employees. Two weeks ago, a total of 792 full-time employees were on duty, McKenna said.

In addition, temporary dismissals and dismissals have affected overtime and part-time employees, McKena said.

The NYRA chief executive and the NYRA management team also received pay cuts at the time of the outbreak, McKena said. High-paying senior executives have long taken the biggest pay cuts. He said the maximum wage was 25 percent.

McKena refused to pay the CEO.


Jason Aide, president of Teamsters Local 814, which represents about 40 NYRA employees, said parking attendants working for NYRA were outraged at the Belmont and Water Service meeting in the spring and fall of 2020 and that most of them were only called for 40. Competition days in Saratoga.

“There are still many parking workers who have been fired,” Ide said this week. “We’re really asking for food stamps.”

Due to disagreements with the NYRA over shift reductions at the time of the outbreak, members said they had not had a union contract for months. The members love to work in horse racing, but he says, “It’s never been worse.”

McKena said the NYRA is aware of the local 814 “Stop Poverty at NYRA” campaign and “is proud of its long and effective relationship with a number of unions representing NYRA workers and is always doing it in good faith.”

Several other unions representing NYRA employees did not respond to requests from the Times Union. Teamsters Local 807, representing NYRA security personnel, said their unit had not been fired during the outbreak.

NYRA canceled 43 days of live horse racing at the time of the outbreak, suspended the race for 10 months, and suspended the race. By 2020, he would have reduced the number of days he hosted the tournament by 60.

“Revenue from bricks and mortar has been reduced by 100 percent on spectators’ tracks, ”McKenna said.

In May 2021, NYRA was allowed to host a limited number of spectators at Belmont Park.

The Saratoga Racing Course has been open to all over a million summer enthusiasts since July. The Saratoga track is still one of the best in New York. McKena said 2,000 full-time, part-time and full-time employees from NYRA are supported in Saratoga.

For the first time since the water supply facility was used for mass vaccination, Starting November 11, it will host fans in person to watch the competition. NYRA plans to bring more staff to the competition, McKena said.

McKena said NYRA’s $ 10 million PPP loan was forgiven by SBA in August 2021. The company has spent all its money on payroll and employee benefits, McKenna said. NYRA PPP lenders generally match the maximum number of people eligible for the program.

“This PPP loan has allowed NYRA to continue its training and stabilization work at Belmont Park, which is based on bags donated by NYRA tracks for hundreds of small businesses and thousands of hourly workers,” McKena said.

Rice said until recently that she did not know that the NYRA employer had received a PPP loan.

Rice, who had been unemployed for two months before being reinstated by NYRA, said: “It was very difficult to get fired. “Years ago, we all worked together and we all looked forward to each other. It may not seem like much at all anymore, but we hope it will change. ”

P.P.P. Influence

Economists say the PPP program has helped keep millions of workers – at least in the six months since it began.

According to US Treasury economists in December, the program saved 18 million jobs. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist and his partners have been able to save between 1.4 million and 3.2 million jobs through the Pekac protection program. Other economists have reached a similar conclusion.

However, the $ 800 billion program has failed to prevent layoffs and dismissals among creditors.

According to Good Jobs First, a non-profit organization that studies corporate subsidies, more than 190,000 American employees have been laid off in 1,900 companies that received PPP loans by 2020.

The Small Business Administration has lent more than 11 million PPP loans, and the total number of microfinance lenders employed about 90 million people at the time of the loan.

According to a small business survey conducted by the Federal Reserve, 82 percent of employers applied for PPP loans and 77 percent received the required financial support. The 46 percent of companies that received all the PPP funds they needed still reduced their payroll. By comparison, the Federal Reserve found that 71 percent of non-PPP recipients had their pay cuts.

Eric Zwick, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago, says it is difficult to measure how effective PPP loans are in keeping employees on the payroll in the first six months after receiving a loan or when the epidemic is declining. Booth Business School.

Companies do not have to show income loss to apply for a first-round loan, so Zwick said most employees who are supported by the program may not lose their jobs even if their company does not receive a loan. But in the long run, as the epidemic continues, the program may have more positive outcomes by closing businesses and helping them overcome other obstacles.

“A large portion of the money went to the owners of the company rather than to the workers,” says Zwick.

To get a full loan waiver, the program requires companies to maintain their average employee census within eight to 12 weeks after repaying their loan, and to count in one or more of the two periods specified in 2019. 2020, SBA spokesman Matt Coleman said. If the SBA proves that it cannot hire employees, it has given certain conditions to companies. With the exception of earning more than $ 100,000 a year, businesses were required to maintain at least 75 percent of the wages of each worker.

SBA regulations allow companies to be fairly flexible and include certain secure port protections and liberties. Coleman said that when companies apply for pardons, lenders and SBA review their employer records to ensure that companies comply with the guidelines.

But According to Zwick and Good Works, it is unclear whether a small government agency with little experience has the capacity to implement such a large-scale program.

“Unfortunately, the rules are too loose,” says Katy Furtado, a researcher at Good Jobs First.