Another Boston hotel fires dozens of workers amid pandemic struggles

A Boston hotel is firing much of its staff as it struggles to operate during

A Boston hotel is firing much of its staff as it struggles to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.The UNITE HERE Local 26 union says 52 workers at the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel have received termination notices.According to the union, the terminations are a violation of the Local 26’s contract with the Nine Zero Hotel. The union says intends to pursue every legal avenue possible to maintain the rights of those workers. The Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel shared the following statement with WCVB:”We are working diligently with the union in search of the best solution for our employees and business, which has been significantly impacted by this pandemic. The actions taken by the hotel comply with the union contract that has been in place for years. We are hopeful that conversations with our union partners remain constructive during these very difficult and unprecedented times.”The Kimpton Nine Zero is the latest Boston hotel to fire workers in an effort to combat the economic hardships of the pandemic.On Tuesday morning, dozens of terminated hotel workers picketed outside the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel, which terminated hundreds of its staff members last November.”For me, it had been 15 years working in this company,” said Alexia Figueroa, a Boston hotel worker who lost her job on Monday. “I know the pandemic is difficult for everybody, but we understand that point. We know that it’s not easy for them, but for us, it’s worse.”State Sen. Joe Boncore has filed legislation that would protect the local hotel workers who have lost their jobs.”We don’t want to see hotels and large corporations use this as an opportunity to hire lower-wage workers,” Boncore said.Data does show that Boston hotels are struggling during the pandemic. The occupancy rate for Boston hotels is at roughly 34% in March thus far, but it was at just over 40% at the same point last year and at nearly 68% in 2019.In addition, the latest data from STR shows that Boston ranks last among 25 major metropolitan areas when it comes to hotel occupancy rate.”When you combine all those market segments, it was the perfect storm for no business,” said Paul Sacco, president of the Massachusetts Lodging Association.Sacco says Boston hotels have been especially hurt by the loss of conventions, corporate meetings and tourists. But he contends that funding for tourism campaigns could help the city’s hotel industry.”There is a pent-up demand as we are all getting vaccinated and restrictions are lifted. I think there’s an opportunity to get business into the state,” Sacco said.The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has set up an emergency fund for terminated hotel workers. Since the fund launched in November, the United Way, UNITE HERE Local 26 and BEST Hospitality Corporation have raised and distributed more than $454,000 worth of grocery gift cards to 2,103 families.

A Boston hotel is firing much of its staff as it struggles to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union says 52 workers at the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel have received termination notices.

According to the union, the terminations are a violation of the Local 26’s contract with the Nine Zero Hotel. The union says intends to pursue every legal avenue possible to maintain the rights of those workers.

The Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel shared the following statement with WCVB:

“We are working diligently with the union in search of the best solution for our employees and business, which has been significantly impacted by this pandemic. The actions taken by the hotel comply with the union contract that has been in place for years. We are hopeful that conversations with our union partners remain constructive during these very difficult and unprecedented times.”

The Kimpton Nine Zero is the latest Boston hotel to fire workers in an effort to combat the economic hardships of the pandemic.

On Tuesday morning, dozens of terminated hotel workers picketed outside the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel, which terminated hundreds of its staff members last November.

“For me, it had been 15 years working in this company,” said Alexia Figueroa, a Boston hotel worker who lost her job on Monday. “I know the pandemic is difficult for everybody, but we understand that point. We know that it’s not easy for them, but for us, it’s worse.”

State Sen. Joe Boncore has filed legislation that would protect the local hotel workers who have lost their jobs.

“We don’t want to see hotels and large corporations use this as an opportunity to hire lower-wage workers,” Boncore said.

Data does show that Boston hotels are struggling during the pandemic. The occupancy rate for Boston hotels is at roughly 34% in March thus far, but it was at just over 40% at the same point last year and at nearly 68% in 2019.

In addition, the latest data from STR shows that Boston ranks last among 25 major metropolitan areas when it comes to hotel occupancy rate.

“When you combine all those market segments, it was the perfect storm for no business,” said Paul Sacco, president of the Massachusetts Lodging Association.

Sacco says Boston hotels have been especially hurt by the loss of conventions, corporate meetings and tourists. But he contends that funding for tourism campaigns could help the city’s hotel industry.

“There is a pent-up demand as we are all getting vaccinated and restrictions are lifted. I think there’s an opportunity to get business into the state,” Sacco said.

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has set up an emergency fund for terminated hotel workers. Since the fund launched in November, the United Way, UNITE HERE Local 26 and BEST Hospitality Corporation have raised and distributed more than $454,000 worth of grocery gift cards to 2,103 families.