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Over 500 workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas have temporarily lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The resort, which is part-owned by the Trump Organization, broke the news to employees last month in a letter to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.
“Based on the fluid and rapidly evolving nature of this situation, however, at this time we are unable to provide a specific date at which we will be able to recommence regular hotel operations and return affected employees to work,” Human Resources Director LaDawndre Stinson wrote in the letter posted to the agency’s website.
The April 3 letter added that because of the “sudden, dramatic, and unexpected nature of this unforeseen emergency” and the demands of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision to shut down non-essential businesses amid the pandemic, the hotel would be “unable to provide employees with additional notice of these temporary layoffs.”
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As first reported by The Washington Post, the president’s properties in New York, D.C., Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, Vancouver, and Honolulu have all laid-off workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has gutted the hospitality industry.
To date, 1,500 employees at hotels owned by the Trump Organization have been laid off or furloughed.
“You can’t have many hundreds of employees standing around doing nothing,” Trump said at the White House on April 21, addressing job cuts. “There’s no customer. You’re not allowed to have a customer.”
During the same press conference—which took place two weeks after the Las Vegas employees learned they were out of a job—Trump expressed his support for Sisolak’s decision to lock down Sin City, despite its cold reception from other elected officials and the Las Vegas mayor, who called it “total insanity.”
“They closed a big hotel down in Nevada that I have in Las Vegas. It’s a very severe step he took. I’m OK with it,” Trump said. “But you could call that one either way.”
Bethany Khan, the communications director for the Culinary Union in Las Vegas—which represents nearly all of the Trump employees who were laid off—told The Daily Beast on Thursday that 98 percent of their members are currently furloughed or laid off.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s most powerful labor organization, representing about 60,000 hotel-casino workers.
In addition to Las Vegas, more than 200 employees were laid off at the president’s hotel in Vancouver, and over 75 percent of his Chicago hotel was placed on leave.
“In an effort to conserve energy, most common areas…are illuminated and heated at a minimum level,” the Chicago hotel told its investors in a letter, stating that the “heartbreaking decision” to lay off two-thirds of its staff also included suspending 401(k) contributions.
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According to the Post, the combined closed properties used to generate about $650,000 every day for the Trump Organization. The family business, which is now managed by the president’s two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, racked up a property-tax bill in April of more than $1.8 million.
The group reportedly reached out to the Deutsche Bank in March to ask about delaying payments on at least some of its hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and other financial obligations.
According to The New York Times, a Florida-based company executive also emailed and called Palm Beach County officials to talk about whether they had planned to keep asking for payments on land the Trump Organization rents from the county for a 27-hole golf club.
“These days everybody is working together,” Eric Trump told the Times. “Tenants are working with landlords, landlords are working with banks. The whole world is working together as we fight through this pandemic.”
Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which sits just blocks away from the White House, is also looking for a government break on its rent payments. On April 21, the Times also reported the hotel has asked to delay its monthly rent payments of about $268,000 a month in an effort to curtail their ongoing money troubles. The hotel is housed in the Old Post Office Building, a federally-owned property.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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