HTC Works with NY Gov. Hochul to Secure $2,750 Checks for Unemployed Hotel Workers and Millions for New Tourism Initiatives

HTC President Rich Maroko (left) and Host Nancy Tavarez, Radisson JFK (right) join Governor Kathy Hochul (center) to celebrate the new initiatives, including $2,750 for unemployed tourism workers. Don Pollard/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
“I earned good wages and benefits, comfortably raised my three children, and took pride in welcoming people from all around the world to New York City,” HTC Member Nancy Tavarez told the crowd on November 8th. “All of that turned upside down when the pandemic hit and on Labor Day when all of the federal unemployment benefits got cut.”

November 24, 2021 6:37 PM

Since March of 2020, our Union has single-mindedly fought to get as many of our members as possible back to work and to get financial relief for those who nonetheless remain laid off. Earlier this month, our Union secured $2,750 in additional relief for our laid off members and millions of dollars in new incentives for hotels to bring back workers – this time, from New York State.

On Monday, November 8th, HTC President Rich Maroko joined New York Governor Kathy Hochul at the Museum of Natural History as she announced a $450 million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” initiative. The new initiative includes a $2,750 one-time check for hotel and tourism workers who lost their unemployment benefits on Labor Day and who remain unemployed or underemployed.

“There are so many jobs that are still not back yet. We cannot be blind to this any longer. We cannot just say they’ll be back tomorrow, keep holding on,” Governor Hochul told the audience. “People have been holding on a long time since they lost their extended unemployment benefits back in September.”

The cash relief will be administered by the New York State Department of Labor, which began contacting eligible workers by email on Wednesday, November 24.

The State’s initiative also includes $125 million in grant money for hotels as an incentive to recall workers. For every additional employee a hotel recalls and keeps on payroll for at least 6 months, the hotel will receive $5,000 (for each full-time employee) or $2,500 (for each part-time employee).

The new initiative also includes $50 million to drive tourism back to New York, including $25 million to reimburse event spaces offering discounts that bring in large groups and conventions and $25 million for an international ad campaign.

“Since COVID-19 decimated our industry, our Union has been advocating at all levels of government for assistance for tens of thousands of laid off hotel workers,” remarked HTC President Rich Maroko. “While the industry has started to rebound, today, there are still thousands of hardworking hotel workers who remain out of work by no fault of their own. We’re grateful to Governor Hochul for recognizing their dire situation and for providing additional relief as well as incentives for hotels to continue reopening and bringing back more employees.”