Retrenchments, pay cuts at KL Hilton as virus continues to bite hotel industry

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur Hilton has become the latest to announce pay cuts and retrenchments of staff as the hotel industry continues to struggle with the loss of tourists caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The landmark hotel said the decision was made following the “unprecedented” impact of the deadly virus on the hospitality industry.

“We are seeing occupancy levels at different hotels impacted in different ways and are working with our hotel owners to evaluate options for each property on a case-by-case basis,” a regional spokesman for the international hotel chain told FMT when queried about an internal circular by KL Hilton.

The company said it was assessing its staffing needs based on future bookings and the local business environment.

“To this effect, our hotels are implementing various actions, including adopting flexible hours, use of PTO, shorter weeks, job rotations, and in some cases, furloughs,” the spokesman added.

The circular announced, among others, salary cuts of up to 50% starting tomorrow, with the retrenchment exercise to be carried out on a “last-in, first-out” basis.

Some staff will be eligible for the government’s Employee Retention Programme which entitles them to monthly aid of RM600 under Putrajaya’s stimulus package.

Others have been told to take unpaid leave, with retained employees to see salary cuts of up to 50%.

The move is the latest in a series of bad news for tens of thousands of hotel employees nationwide.

Yesterday, FMT reported that a five-star hotel in Melaka would shut down indefinitely as it was no longer “viable” to continue operations in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Another prominent hotel located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, G City Club Hotel, also announced its closure yesterday after a decade of operations due to low occupancy rates over the past few years.

FMT also reported that a 500-room five-star hotel in Selangor would be suspending operations until the end of the year.

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