Dear Governor Cuomo,
I have appreciated your steady leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, on behalf of us hospitality-industry people, who became your target today, I would like to make our case that we are in fact essential here in New York.
No, we are not health-care heroes. We are the people who get their laundry, make their food, clean there rooms, thank them in person while we drop them off and pick them up from the front lines.
We are honored to have them. We charge a rate about one-third of what the public pays, and we lose thousands of dollars a day doing it. We understand that it’s our responsibility.
This pandemic has hurt many industries, but ours has taken one of the biggest hits. Every member of our team has had to make sacrifices.
Every manager and executive, as well as most line team members, have either lost pay or hours. So many more of our people are on furlough.
Yes, thanks to the PPP, received two months after this crisis began, we have help with our payroll and have the ability to bring some of our people back.
But after having to work so hard to get our people their benefits, fighting the broken New York unemployment system, why would we bring them back to potentially try to go back on unemployment in eight weeks?
Our industry will not be functioning with typical guests in eight weeks, maybe not even eight months. At our company cost, we are covering the furloughed medical benefits.
You don’t hear about that when you talk about corporate America. Amazing that those of us that have made our careers caring for out of town guests, making their parties, cleaning their rooms and feeding them are now your poster child for corporate greed in America.
The point is, state and municipalities need to survive, they need to take care of their people. Just don’t do it at the expense of my people and the hotel industry because our people and companies have a right to survive too; we too are essential.