Trump's Florida resorts, including Mar-a-Lago, furlough 713 non-essential employees due to coronavirus pandemic
While 153 people are set to be furloughed at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Trump Doral in Miami furloughed a further 560 workers
The coronavirus outbreak has brought the hospitality industry to a screeching halt, such that even the commander-in-chief -- a former real estate mogul -- is feeling the pinch.
It has emerged that two of the Trump Organization’s South Florida properties, Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and Trump Doral in Miami, have furloughed a total of 713 people who constitute "non-essential" staff at the resorts, USA Today reports.
At the Mar-a-Lago Club, which is now the president's new primary residence, 153 people are set to be furloughed, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) letter from Janine Gill, director of human resources at the Mar-a-Lago Club, to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, and copied to Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio.
The letter, dated March 27, says the club began halting its operations “due to the unforeseen business circumstances caused by the natural disaster and spread of the novel coronavirus, the mandated closures under Palm Beach County’s Declaration of Emergency, as well as recommendations regarding public gatherings ... the club has been forced to place its non-essential personnel on temporary furlough status.”
The employees set to be furloughed include both indoor and outdoor staff, ranging from dishwashers to tennis professionals to executive assistants, per the report.
Meanwhile, 560 workers were furloughed at the Trump National Doral in Miami-Dade. And while both furloughs are temporary, it's unclear when the workers will be called back.
Florida's economy is heavily reliant on its tourism industry, and the coronavirus pandemic has crippled the same by forcing the closure of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and recreational facilities just weeks before the highly profitable spring vacation season.
On March 19, the Mar-a-Lago Club notified its members of a partial closure owing to health concerns related to the outbreak. The notice, obtained by the Palm Beach Daily News, said the club would cease offering a la carte dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main “house" and would stop other services like spa and aerobics classes temporarily. Furthermore, it also said guest rooms would no longer be available for reservations.
On March 20, the following day, the club informed all its members that "due to Governor DeSantis’ recent executive orders, we, unfortunately, must suspend all Beach Club and tennis operations.”
With governments across the world enforcing lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 160,000 lives worldwide, work from home has become the rule of the day as the global economy takes a downturn toward recession.
But even then, not all are as fortunate to avail the opportunity to work from the safety of their homes. In fact, in the US, that is not an option at all for two-thirds of workers.
A recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that working remotely is associated with jobs that are high-paying but for sectors like hospitality and agriculture, it is not a viable choice and they are set to take a big hit.
The NBER report, which was prepared by Jonathan Dingel and Brent Neiman of the University of Chicago’s School of Business and gives an input predicting the economy's performance during the ongoing and subsequent periods of social distancing, showed that only 37 out of 100 American jobs can be done remotely.