Politics Hotel workers need a lifeline; It's time to pass The Save Hotel Jobs Act
4 vaccinated front-line workers cope with pandemic's toll
NEW YORK (AP) — The early months of the coronavirus pandemic shined a spotlight on essential workers. As cities shutdown, thank you signs went up on windows and applause rang out each evening for the workers still out there. At the time, there was hope the pandemic would be short-lived. Instead, the virus spread, evolved and unleashed new challenges. More than 60% of U.S. workers had jobs that couldn’t be done from home during the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Front-line workers struggled with inconsistent masking policies, fought for hazard pay and campaigned for lasting changes, including a $15 minimum wage and adequate paid sick leave.
For over a year and a half, Americans have had their lives turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis has touched all of us, leaving no sector of our economy unscathed. But one industry has particularly suffered and faces the toughest road to recovery - the hotel and lodging industry.
The period since the COVID-19 pandemic began has been the worst on record for hotels, devastating a vibrant industry.
The main source of hotel revenue - business travel - has been decimated and is not projected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were roughly 1.74 million fewer leisure and hospitality jobs in August 2021 than in February 2020. The jobless rate in the accommodations sector is nearly triple that of the rest of the economy, and Florida is on pace to end 2021 .
Adapt or else: Downtown businesses cope with new reality
NEW YORK (AP) — Downtown businesses in the U.S. and abroad once took for granted that nearby offices would provide a steady clientele looking for breakfast, lunch, everyday goods and services and last-minute gifts. As the resilient coronavirus keeps offices closed and workers at home, some are adapting while others are trying to hang on. Some businesses are already gone. The survivors have taken steps such as boosting online sales or changing their hours, staffing levels and what they offer customers. Others are relying more on residential traffic. © Provided by Associated Press Shalia McCall fills drink orders at Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant, Friday, Sept.
While some hotels saw increases in leisure travel this summer, concerns over the rise of the Delta variant, along with the ongoing lack of business travel, means that hotels and their employees will continue to struggle. Yet, hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry that have not received direct aid from Congress.
That is why I joined with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to introduce the -legislation that is critical to the survival of one of the most important industries in nearly every community across the country.
A from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that without congressional action, the industry will end 2021 down approximately 500,000 jobs. This means one in five hotel jobs will not return by year's end. This is not sustainable.
Italy requires COVID-19 pass for all workers from Oct. 15
MILAN (AP) — Italian workers in both the public and private sectors must display a health pass to access their workplaces from Oct. 15 under a decree adopted Thursday by Premier Mario Draghi’s broad-based coalition government. The measures are the first by a major European economy requiring proof of vaccination, a recent negative virus test or recovery from COVID in the previous six months for all categories of workers. “The Green Pass is anThe measures are the first by a major European economy requiring proof of vaccination, a recent negative virus test or recovery from COVID in the previous six months for all categories of workers.
Additionally, a new survey from Morning Consult and AHLA shows that rising concerns over the Delta variant are causing travelers to cancel, reduce, and postpone trips. Sixty-seven percent of plan to take fewer trips, while 69 percent of plan to do the same. These findings highlight what over 200 hotels in my district have made clear to me: hotel employees are in desperate need of a lifeline.
At the onset of the pandemic, Congress passed various relief programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and federally supported COBRA coverage, to protect workers and small businesses. Unfortunately, those lifelines are running out and the hotel industry is continuing to struggle, leaving workers up a creek without a paddle.
The Save Hotel Jobs Act would create a crucial payroll support program to assist hotel workers and hoteliers through the pandemic. Specifically, the legislation would provide up to three months of payroll support for a hotel that can demonstrate a 40 percent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020. Importantly, 100 percent of the grant would be used on employee payroll and benefits. The legislation also includes strong right-of-recall provisions to get our hotel workers back on the job, and a tax credit to give hotel owners an additional tool to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep workers and guests safe.
California Added 44 Percent of New U.S. Jobs in August As State Unemployment Remains High
"We still have more work to do in regaining those jobs lost to the pandemic, but this is promising progress for California's economic recovery," Newsom said.According to the California Employment Development Department, the state has gained an average 110,600 new jobs per month since February. In August, 235,000 jobs were added by employers nationwide, meaning a large percentage were in California alone.
The Save Hotel Jobs Act is supported by both industry and UNITE HERE - the largest hospitality workers union in North America - underscoring the importance of getting this bill across the finish line.
The time to act is now. Congress has already helped other travel and tourism sectors with the passage of the Airline Payroll Support Program, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and Save our Stages Act. Conditions for hotels are just as bad, or worse, than any other industry, and circumstances remain dire for the foreseeable future.
From big cities to small towns, hotels are critical for our economy. The Save Hotel Jobs Act would help sustain our hotels until travel patterns get back to normal. I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate join me in supporting this necessary legislation on behalf of American workers.
Crist represents Florida's 13th District.
Virginia removes Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue, its largest Confederate monument .
Crews lifted the 12-ton bronze statue from its 40-foot pedestal tagged with graffiti from the 2020 protests Wednesday morning in Richmond.Workers harnessed the 12-ton statue and removed it from its 40-foot pedestal, eliciting cheers from hundreds watching. Some wore Black Lives Matter shirts and chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Hey hey hey, goodbye.