The Sheraton Hotel in the Argentine beach resort of Mar del Plata Tuesday decided to shut down for two months and take advantage of a Labor Law clause that allows companies to keep their staff earning 75 per cent of their salaries in crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel's management hopes to reopen for the winter holidays season, it was announced. The number of employees under suspension amounts to 80, company sources added.
Although not the only hotel to take such a drastic measure, the Sheraton Mar del Plata is one of the most iconic ones of the past two decades.
We have already submitted the request to the Ministry of Labor because we want to see that the commitments assumed by the company when accessing this advantage are fulfilled, Union of Hotel Workers (Uthgra) Deputy Secretary Nancy Todoroff was quoted as saying. Todoroff also heads Uthgra's Mar del Plata offices.
The union also stated that no complaints had been received from any of the hotel workers, which allowed them to assume the company was keeping its obligations.
Mar del Plata's hotel industry is going through a huge crisis due to last year's ten-month quarantine and occupancy by December barely reached 25%. Reservations surged slightly for the Carnival and Easter Week-long weekends but were still far below what was needed to keep the facilities operational.
It is estimated that only in Mar del Plata, since the beginning of the pandemic, a hundred hotels and restaurants have been closed permanently, which directly involved the loss of about 1,400 to 1,500 jobs, in addition to the temporary closure of other hotels, particularly those that are run by labour unions, which chose to remain unopened during the summer as lack of guests was guaranteed.