Marriott Furloughs Two-Thirds of Their Corporate Employees

The crisis surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in ways that might have seemed unimaginable even weeks ago.  Marriott just announced that they’re laying off thousands of corporate employees, two-thirds of the entire corporate team.

It was just a few days earlier that Marriott started laying off tens of thousands of workers around the world in hotels that were part of closures due to the drop in travel.  Now, that appears to have expanded to their corporate office.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Marriott is laying off approximately 2,600 of their roughly 4,000 corporate employees at their Maryland headquarters:

Marriott said the corporate staff furloughs would begin early next month and estimate that they will last 60 to 90 days. During that period, furloughed U.S. corporate employees will receive 20% of their salary, which can be put toward health care and other costs, the spokeswoman said. Corporate employees who stay on are subject to 20% pay cuts and reduced workweeks, the spokeswoman said.

When Marriott acquired Starwood, they inherited their entire corporate team.  It had been reported that Starwood already had more corporate employees than they needed.  Marriott went about trimming their team as they combined the two entities.  Still, Marriott has a massive collection of hotels across the world and has a big team to manage them.  For the next few months, they’ll be doing it with a much smaller group of folks.

The Bottom Line

Marriott executives have noted that occupancy levels at hotels worldwide are down as much as 75% since COVID-19 has disrupted everything we know as normal.  That’s a massive drop in rooms and revenue.  The majority of hotels carrying a Marriott brand across the globe aren’t owned by Marriott.  That insulates them to some degree from the crisis, putting the burden on hotel owners.  But, with low occupancy and some hotels closing, Marriott’s biggest source of revenue (royalties from hotels) is drying up.

Marriott is hunkering down for the long haul.  They expect business to be at historic lows for months. They could always bring employees back early if business rebounds.  But, this is just another sign that the biggest corporations of the world think we’re in for a prolonged reduction in travel the likes of which I’ve never seen.

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12 Comments

  1. Sigh… I wish my main client at work wasn’t Marriott right now.

    Looks like I’ll be applying for unemployment shortly..

  2. Sad. But that doesnt mean they get a bailout. Republicans stop using a crisis to steal. They are very good at that.

      1. You are a good man. I wonder if empathy can be taught? There are a lot of people in this country who would need to take a class. Actually empathy should become a requirement to become a political leader. We check them for health, they should require a certificate of empathy too from a nonpartisan panel

    1. I think you are confusing welfare where money is sent out and never paid back, not one cent. Loans that are paid back with interest is a very different scenario. At least admit that travel companies are in this situation through no fault of their own. They aren’t in pain because of how they operated their businesses but because a deadly global pandemic induced government ordered shutdown and government interference in the marketplace. It is a necessary action and I applaud President Trump for taking quick action by cutting off travel from China in January and curbing travel from Europe in March. These companies are the lifeblood of the economy and deserve compassion and empathy just like their workers. These companies and their shareholders provide millions of Americans a livelihood and we see the effects when these companies are not allowed by the government to do business. I rather businesses remain healthy as much as possible so they can return to business for their shareholders and their employees when the pandemic is curtailed instead of these businesses forced into bankruptcy.

  3. The hotel managers should receive the same benefits that they provide Marriott’s highest level Bonvoy members, which is “we promise you a litany of benefits but in actuality give you nothing.” Karma is a bitch, as they say.

  4. This is a sensible move on the part of the Marriott Chain. I think a lot of people got confused about the assistance the travel industry requested. The big 3 Airlines have billions in cash to make their loan and lease payments, maintain and store their aircraft and pay their terminal and equipment leases. But they don’t have enough to keep employees on payroll indefinitely while this virus plays out. Bad press and false narratives led to strings being attached to any offer of aid so it seems these travel companies like Marriott are having to take a lot of employees off payroll or reduce their payroll to a fraction. When the virus is over most will go back to work. One way or the other the government is going to pay at least a sizable portion of these temporarily disemployed workers salaries. I would have preferred it through these companies instead of unemployment assistance.

  5. Marriott’ hotels was my brand of hotels to stay in but I’m went from Platinum to Gold and now to nothing. It’s sad all around. Like u said I hope this doesn’t last long but if dies we gotta prepare ourselves mentally. I’m not use to seeing Restaurants closures that I went to a lot like Long Horn and other. This became one big freaking cluster of layoffs. Being stuck in your home for weeks will cause cabin fever and for younger teenagers I hope they do nothing stupid by being bored. We have to Pray big time because this is no joke. Our health care professionals r at risk now. Good Luck and may God be with us all.

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