Marriott Hotel Workers Enlist NYC Councilman To Help Get Their Jobs Back After Pandemic Ends

Several hundred employees who were let go from a popular hotel in Times Square say they deserve their jobs back when the coronavirus pandemic is over. CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reports.

Video Transcript

- Several hundred employees who were let go from a popular hotel in Times Square are concerned about their future. They say they deserve their jobs back when the pandemic is over. CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reports.

KIRAN DHILLON: Peter Dorton spent nearly two decades as a server at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. He was furloughed due to COVID last year, and was devastated to recently learn he and many of his fellow employees have been permanently let go.

PETER DORTON: Our world was-- came crashing down. We've lost our career.

- Days of challenge!

KIRAN DHILLON: Dorton and hundreds of other employees are now speaking out, forming a group called Ready to Respond, arguing they've not received fair severance from the hotel. They also worry they will not get hired back, the hotel will prioritize outsourcing jobs, or hiring cheaper employees.

PETER DORTON: This wasn't fair that we were loyal to Marriott, and they promised that they would take care of us.

KIRAN DHILLON: The group has enlisted the help of city council member Brad Lander. Lander recently introduced legislation that would require most businesses that rehire positions that were eliminated due to COVID to first offer them to employees that were laid off.

BRAD LANDER: And it doesn't provide a mandate for them to hire back just as many people as they had before. Those jobs that you do rehire-- offer them to the people that were already working for you.

KIRAN DHILLON: The next step for the legislation is that it will go before a committee before a council can vote on it. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Marriott International says it has no comment on Ready to Respond's claims. The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce says employees who are trained deserve to get their jobs back when the economy recovers, but more resources for businesses that are struggling are also necessary.

MARK JAFFE: These were businesses that were shut-- shut by mandate. And we need to be understanding. We need to have that negotiation. There has to be a give-and-take here.

KIRAN DHILLON: Ready to Respond says it recognizes businesses are in a hard spot, and that any rehiring would happen gradually. The members say they just want the chance to get back to the jobs they love. In Times Square, Kiran Dhillon, CBS2 News.