(The New York Times) When a Chinese insurance firm bought the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for $1.95 billion this year, it said it planned to convert part of the aging building into high-end condominiums, while maintaining a smaller five-star hotel.
Standing in its way were the hotel’s 1,221 union workers, whose jobs were protected by the Waldorf Astoria’s contract with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, a union that represents hotel workers.
Now, the owners of the Waldorf, New York’s largest union hotel employer, have reached a record deal with the union in which the hotel could pay almost $149 million in severance packages to its employees over the next two years. The average payout will be more than $142,000, with a handful of employees eligible for more than $300,000. One longtime worker is walking away with $656,409.68.
And Some Background....
I was meeting with Peter Ward, the head of the powerful New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council on a book I am writing on the Plaza Hotel when he gave me this scoop. It led the local Metro Section in the paper, which is awesome. I'm still hoping to track down the employee who was awarded a $656,000 severance package!