The Hotel Association of New York City, along with the New York Hotel Trades Council and affiliated trade groups, has been working hard since September 11 to create relief measures that would support lodging industry workers adversely affected by the tragedy. One of these measures is a $5 million special relief fund that has been created to provide continuation of medical benefits to workers displaced by the closings of two member hotels: Marriott World Trade Center and the Millenium Hilton.
"The $5 million will be held in a special relief fund created under the auspices of the Hotel Industry Health Benefits Fund and will not require any additional contributions or payments by any contributing employer," said HANYC President Joseph E. Spinnato when he announced the action. "This special fund will be established from the contributions regularly received from contributing employers. It will be administered pursuant to conditions and guidelines to be established by the Trustees of the Health Benefits Fund." While the fund is the cornerstone of the efforts to help the city’s hard-hit hotel industry, other measures also are underway:
- Instituted a work-sharing agreement that allows employees to voluntarily agree to work fewer days than they would otherwise be scheduled in order to avoid other employees from being laid off.
- Accommodated requests by many hotel employees to take time off without pay in order to decrease the need for the layoffs of co-workers;
- Discussions between HANYC's crisis task force and the offices of the Governor and Mayor seeking support in the form of short-term tax relief and funds for an advertising campaign to support tourism to New York City.
- Instituted a $2.2 million aid fund by the New York Hotel Trades Council and its affiliates.
Hotel Association of New York City can be contacted at (212) 754-6700 or through its Web site: http://www.hanyc.org.