New York Hotel Workers Union Reach Deal With The Waldorf On Layoffs

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McCaysville GA – June 27, 2015 – (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) When the Waldorf Astoria, in New York City, was sold to Anbang Insurance Group, the plan was to convert part of hotel into Condominiums while running the remaining rooms as a Five Star Hotel.

One of the issues was employee layoffs. Due to the amount of rooms being converted to Condominiums the hotel is set to close and layoff all of the employees.

According to an article in the New York Times, the owners of the Waldorf, New York’s largest union hotel employer, have reached a record deal with the union in which the hotel could pay almost $149 million in severance packages to its employees over the next two years. The average payout will be more than $142,000, with a handful of employees eligible for more than $300,000. One longtime worker is walking away with $656,409.68

Peter Ward, a Union official said ““It is a great deal. “There are people of retirement age, hundreds of them, that are getting over $200,000 in severance.”

The deal will give employees severance pay of 29 days per year. 58 days for tipped employees. This compares to the typical union severance payment of 4 dyas per year or 8 for tipped staff.

According to the New York Times “the Employees have three choices: take their severance now and stop working within 60 days; take part of their severance now but continue working for two years or until the hotel closes, whichever comes first, and then receive the rest of the severance; or continue working until the hotel closes, then take the smaller, traditional union severance and go on a rehire list. When the Waldorf reopens, those on the rehire list could be brought back, but if they have not been rehired within one year, their rights will expire and they will be given the remainder of the enhanced severance package.”

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