Real Estate

Workers at Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square vote to unionize

It’s check-in time for the highly effective hotel employees’ union at the Marriott  Marquis — the primary time organized labor has penetrated the town’s largest hotel because it opened in 1985.

Workers at the enormous hotel who had lengthy resisted being being unionized voted to be represented by the Hotel Trades Council after administration abruptly fired 850 staff in December.

And it is going to quickly be check-out time for the revolving, top-floor View restaurant and different eateries at the hotel, that are slated to get replaced by yet-to-be-named exterior operators. 

The practically 2,000-room Marquis occupies a commanding location in Times Square. Although it stays open, it’s quieter than ordinary in the tourist-scarce “Crossroads of the World.” But two  milestone dramas are taking part in out behind its huge façade.   

The Hotel Trades Council lastly discovered a means in to the beforehand non-union Marquis after the December jobs bloodbath.

Most axed Marquis employees have been in the massive meals and beverage division, which runs the View, Crossroads American Kitchen and different Marquis eateries in addition to profitable ballroom and banquet services.

A view of a ballroom at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
Getty Images for Jackie Robinson Foundation

Now, Marriott plans to exchange the food-service crew by tapping exterior firms to run the operation, commerce newspaper Total Food Service first revealed. TFS estimated the potential offers’ worth at up to $50 million, a determine that couldn’t be confirmed. Marriott was anticipated to select operators by the top of March.

The Post has since realized that there are literally two separate requests for proposals – one to handle the eating places and one to deal with the banquets. The latter alone “can bring in $60 million in a normal, good year,” a supply stated.

Deals at the high-volume Marquis may enchantment to such main hospitality outfits as Patina Restaurant Group, Legends Hospitality, Restaurant Associates, Great Performances and Union Square Events, but it surely was not identified which if any of them had made affords.

Marriott had lengthy managed to hold the union at bay by paying Marquis workers barely greater than union wages at different resorts, though advantages have been much less. But the sudden layoffs of 850 employees prompted housekeeping and different staff to vote to settle for union illustration.

“When Marriott fired its 850 workers,  many of the remaining employees immediately contacted the HTC,” the union boasted in its month-to-month e-newsletter. “This victory marks the end of a 35-year union avoidance campaign at the hotel.”

Despite the employees’ vote, the Times Square buzz was that Marriott let in the union in trade for the HTC’s agreeing not to contest the food-outsourcing plan – which couldn’t be confirmed. Reps for Marriott declined to touch upon any side of the scenario and the union didn’t return a name.

A masked passerby exterior the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
Getty Images

The outsourcing contracts  can be on a “fee” foundation, the place Marriott would pay an operator a set quantity to handle the eating places and banquet operations whereas incurring no direct labor prices for the hotel. An {industry} supply stated that the View and the hotel’s present  different eating places, that are presently  closed, would possible get replaced by new ideas in 2022.  

The Marquis developments come in the midst of the pandemic-driven lodging-industry disaster that has seen about twenty Big Apple resorts shut, together with the Roosevelt, Pennsylvania and Hudson. The benchmark {industry} metric generally known as RevPar, or income per accessible room, tumbled 71.2 % in 2020, in accordance to authoritative PwC Manhattan Lodging Index.

The Marquis is owned by Host Marriott and managed by Marriott International – separate firms fashioned when the unique Marriott Corporation cut up into two in 1993.

Although it’s credited with serving to to revitalize as soon as crime-ridden Times Square, the Marquis has lengthy been a flashpoint in metropolis politics. The Giuliani administration was condemned for permitting the demolition of a number of outdated Broadway theaters to make room for it in the Nineteen Eighties, when Times Square was filled with muggers, drug sellers and prostitutes.

Some elected officers and candidates have declined to maintain occasions there due to its non-union standing. In 2013, metropolis controller and mayoral candidate John Liu tried to upend a “sweetheart” ground-lease deal between the town and Marriott.   

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