Connect with us


Bay Area hotel layoffs may just be start of losses



SAN MARTIN — At least 1,400 hotel workers in Northern California have lost jobs or been shoved into indefinite furloughs amid the coronavirus fallout, but these might be just a grim vanguard of further economic reductions.

Hotel worker layoffs in the Bay Area and nearby regions total at least 1,431, according to new estimates by state labor officials, but several experts warn that the newly announced cutbacks are merely the beginning of widespread economic devastation in California’s crucial lodging and travel sectors.

“This is only the start of the hotel layoffs,” said Alan Reay, president of Irvine-based Atlas Hospitality Group, which tracks the California lodging market. “The majority of hotels in California and nationwide are reducing operations or closing temporarily.”

More than 400,000 jobs supported by the hotel sector or directly connected to hotel operations are expected to be cut in California, according to an Oxford Economics study released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

“Those numbers may be conservative,” Reay said.

Roughly 414,000 jobs, or a staggering 40.8 percent of the nearly 1.02 million jobs directly or indirectly associated with California’s hotel industry, are being eliminated due to the effects of the coronavirus, the hotel association and Oxford Economics study determined.

The reasons are simple yet brutal. Multiple states, including California, have issued orders to slash the operations of an array of non-essential businesses, including hotels, in a quest to corral the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, people simply have begun to shun hotel visits in growing numbers.

“Drastic declines in occupancy rates will lead to massive job losses for individuals across the industry,” the American Hotel & Lodging Association stated in its report.

Job cuts are being planned in at least five hotel complexes in Northern California, consisting of three in the Bay Area and two in Monterey County, according to several official filings with the state’s Employment Development Department.

“Hotel owners are already reporting facing massive, unavoidable layoffs and furloughs,” the hotel association stated.

Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel chopped 600 jobs, Rosewood CordeValle hotel and resort in San Martin cut 263 positions, Ventana Big Sur in Big Sur reduced staffing by 216 jobs, Hotel RIU Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco cut 209 positions, and Las Alcobas Resort & Spa in the Napa County town of St. Helena cut 143 jobs, according to official notices filed with the state EDD.

“The vast majority of hotel employees are minimum wage employees,” Reay said. “These are people who really need those paychecks.”

Revenue per available room for hotels in the United States plunged 69.5 percent during the week of March 15 through March 21, according to a survey by Tennessee-based STR, which tracks an array of statistics, including trends in the hotel industry. Revenue per available room is the benchmark metric used to measure hotel financial trends.

“This is the steepest revenue per available room decline we’ve ever recorded in our 30-year history,” Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights with STR, said in a report posted with Hotel News Now.

STR predicted hotel revenues will plummet to a greater extent.

“We fully expect that this data could get even worse as travel into the U.S. and North America overall dwindles even further,” Freitag said.

And in an indicator of travel-related layoffs, Inflight Catering, which provides catering for commercial jetliners, is cutting 39 jobs in Brisbane.

“Seattle was hit first by hotel cutbacks, and then San Francisco,” Reay said. “The occupancy levels are in the low single-digits in San Francisco right now. San Jose, Palo Alto, those markets are falling as well.”

Experts warn that the hotel market might rebound in a sluggish fashion even when the economy is deemed ready to be re-opened.

“It could take two or three years for hotels to get back to being stabilized at the levels before the coronavirus occurred,” Reay said. “Even if the COVID-19 impact is over in 60 to 90 days, the hotel industry is pretty much done for this year.”


Source link


Two new COVID-19 cases in Marshall County | News, Sports, Jobs




DES MOINES — Marshall County only had two additional case of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours.

As of Sunday, Marshall County has 894 cases of COVID-19, a rise of two cases.

Marshall County dropped to sixth highest Iowa counties with COVID-19 cases. The other counties with higher numbers are Polk with 4,228; Woodbury, 2,750; Black Hawk, 1,746; Linn, 955; and Dallas, 903.

Overall Iowa had an increase of 385 bringing the state’s total number of cases to 19,551.

Of those, 11,111 have recovered.

Also, 534 Iowans have died from COVID-19 and 16 of those deaths were residents of Marshall County.

Marshall County makes up 3 percent of the state’s COVID-19 related deaths and 4.5 percent of Iowa’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Marshall County is one the top ten states with the highest number of COVID-19 related tests. The counties tied or with more deaths are Polk with 126 deaths, Linn with 77 deaths, Black Hawk with 44 deaths, Muscatine 41 deaths, Woodbury with 34 deaths, Tama with 27 deaths, Dallas with 21 deaths, Dubuque with 18 deaths and Jasper with 16 deaths.

Marshall County has two recorded outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The Iowa Veterans Home has had 33 positive cases of COVID-19, with 16 recovered and Accura HealthCare of Marshalltown has had 55 cases, with 21 recovered.

In Iowa 156,713 people have been tested for COVID-19 with about 5 percent of Iowa’s population having been tested.

Across the state, 561,610 Test Iowa assessments have been conducted – 2,010 in Marshall County.

A public hotline has been established for questions about COVID-19 in Iowa. It is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Source link

Continue Reading


Tensions High Over Protests Upstate, Downstate | News, Sports, Jobs




The mayor in Rochester declared a state of emergency and a 9 p.m. curfew after demonstrators destroyed police cars, setting one on fire, and officers responded with tear gas canisters.

Albany police used tear gas and rode horses in efforts to quell demonstrators throwing objects. In Buffalo, numerous storefronts had their windows smashed and a person tried to start a fire in City Hall.

Downstate, the scene was even more tense.

Street protests spiraled into New York City’s worst day of unrest in decades Saturday, as fires burned, windows got smashed and dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and officers flared amid crowds of thousands decrying police killings.

A day that began with mostly peaceful marches through Harlem and neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens descended into chaos as night fell.

Demonstrators smashed windows, hurled objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads with garbage and wreckage. A handful of stores in Manhattan had their windows broken and merchandise stolen.

Officers sprayed crowds with chemicals, and video showed two police cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators on a Brooklyn street, knocking several to the ground, after people attacked it with thrown objects, including something on fire. It was unclear whether anyone was hurt.

It was the third straight day of protests in the city over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, a remarkable outburst after most New Yorkers spent the past two months stuck inside as the coronavirus devastated the city. A night earlier, several thousand people faced off with a force of officers on the streets around a Brooklyn sports arena.

The NYPD said at least 120 people were arrested and at least 15 police vehicles damaged or destroyed.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, blamed the destruction on a small number of agitators who he said “do not represent this city” and were purposely trying to incite violence against police.

“We appreciate and respect all peaceful protest, but now it is time for people to go home,” de Blasio told reporters outside the city’s emergency management headquarters just after 11:30 p.m.

“What we’re seeing is people coming in from outside, a lot of them are purporting to speak about the issues of communities of color, but a lot of them are not from communities of color,” de Blasio said on the local cable news station NY1.

The protests in each city were all held in defiance of a statewide ban on gatherings imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is bigger than the pandemic,” said Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski, referring to the outbreak that, until recently, was killing hundreds of New Yorkers each day. “The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offenses and people need to stop killing black people. Cops seem as though they’ve been trained to do so.”

Earlier in the day, de Blasio had expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but promised an independent review of demonstrations Friday night in which a mob set fire to a police van and battered police cruisers with clubs and officers beat people with batons.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had asked the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, to lead an inquiry and make a public report.

The mayor said he was upset by videos of confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police, including one that showed a woman being needlessly thrown to the ground.

But he defended officers in the streets, saying they were being subjected “to horrible, vile things.” Of the video of officers driving into a crowd Saturday, de Blasio said it would be investigated, but that the officers acted because they were being attacked.

Violence early Saturday resulted in federal charges against three people suspected of building and throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in two separate incidents in Brooklyn.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn said Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, admitted under questioning to throwing her device at a van occupied by four officers. It did not ignite and the officers were unharmed, police said. Shader’s sister, Dorian, was also arrested and will face charges in state court, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.

Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, both of Brooklyn, are accused of targeting a police van. They were charged under a federal statute regarding the use of fire and explosives to cause damage to a police vehicle and each face 5 to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Information on their lawyers was not immediately available.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured in Friday night’s protests, including one who lost a tooth.

Asked to comment on videos that showed officers shoving peaceful protesters to the ground and hitting people with batons, Shea said those acts would be investigated.

But, he said, “It is very hard to practice de-escalation when there is a brick being thrown at your head.”

“It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” he said.

In a peaceful gathering Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed several hundred people in Staten Island at the spot where Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014. He was accompanied by Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.

Sharpton noted that Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after an officer pressed his knee into his neck, had also fallen unconscious gasping for air.

“Right at this spot is where we heard Eric Garner say what six years later was said by George: ‘I can’t breathe.’”

Cuomo noted that Floyd’s death was just the latest in a long list of similar deaths, and he said he shared in the outrage over “this fundamental injustice.”

“But violence is not the answer. It never is the answer,” he said. “The violence obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission.”


Associated Press writers Karen Matthews, Jennifer Peltz, Michael R. Sisak, Tom Hays, Maria Sanminiatelli and Robert Bumsted in New York, Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, and John Wawrow in Buffalo contributed to this report.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Source link

Continue Reading


PM Modi MannKiBaat says create jobs in villages east India turn pandemic into opportunity




PM Modi, Mann Ki Baat, Villages, self reliant
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

PM Modi in #MannKiBaat said that pandemic has to be taken as an opportunity, time to create more jobs in villages.

PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat on Sunday said the coronavirus crisis will be taken as an opportunity in the country. Addressing the nation through his monthly radio programme, PM Modi said that the government will work towards making villages self-reliant by creating more jobs for the migrants, focus on Make in India products.

Prime Minister talked about creating more jobs in villages as lakhs of migrant force have moved back to their native places who were earlier working in cities but are temporary without work due to COVID-19 pandemic situation.

PM Modi called for ‘Vocal for local’, pitching his voice towards making India a self-reliant country and emerging as a manufacturing hub.

“Working towards all-round development and the empowerment of every Indian. The fight against COVID-19 is also being powered by the innovative spirit of our citizens. They are innovating in a wide range of sectors,” PM Modi said in Mann Ki Baat.

“The road ahead is a long one. We are fighting a pandemic about which little was previously known,” PM Modi added.


ALSO READFrom Hollywood to Haridwar, world recognising the power of Yoga: PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat

ALSO READ | Over 5,100 coronavirus deaths in India, cases cross 1.82 lakh mark. Check state-wise list

Fight against Coronavirus: Full coverage

Source link

Continue Reading