1,500 Marriott casual workers to receive furlough pay

Marriott hotel employees put on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Hospitality organisation Marriott International is placing 1,500 casual employees at its Marriott hotels on the government’s Covid-19 (Coronavirus) job retention scheme.

The government’s job retention scheme allows furloughed employees to receive 80% of their salary, capped at £2,500.

The organisation previously had put this into doubt telling the casual workers it was ‘yet to determine its position’ on whether they could be furloughed due to cash flow issues. 

Following on from this news, members of the union party launched a collective campaign to demand 100% of their wages, through conference calls, online actions, and a joint letter to the president at Marriott Europe. 

A spokesperson at Marriott International said: “We are now able to confirm that we have made the decision to place our casual workers in the UK into the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  This will be effective from the date of hotel closure for all casuals that have an active contract. This date will vary depending on when each hotel formally closed.

“This is a move that Marriott has been working on for a number of weeks. In our communication with our casual staff the week of the 6th April, we stated that Marriott was yet to determine its position regarding furloughing over 1500 casual workers, as we needed to evaluate all of the data for each hotel that uses casual staff.

“Since then, we have been working hard with our ownership groups across our 60 managed hotels in the UK to evaluate available funds on a hotel-by-hotel basis, at a time when our UK properties are closed and therefore generating no revenue at all. To date, approximately 500 of our casual workers in the UK have already been asked for agreement to be furloughed under this scheme and the remaining casual workers will receive letters in the coming days.

“As a business, we are committed to doing all that we can to support our people and our communities during these difficult times and we are very pleased to have been able to make this decision for our casual workers.”

Dave Turnbull, officer with national responsibility for the hospitality at Unite, said: “Unite has been campaigning strongly and lobbying the business ‘to do the right thing’ and put all it casual staff, who play such a key part in Marriot’s commercial success, onto the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme. 

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“We welcome this announcement and will be monitoring how this works out in practice for our members in the coming days and weeks and will raise any problems with the Marriot management.

“Once lockdown is lifted we will be demanding a new deal for hospitality workers which will include an end to the ‘zero hours’ culture.