Marriott Extends Furloughs Through Oct. 2

Marriott extended staff furloughs through Oct. 2. The hotel operator doesn't expect business to return to prepandemic levels this year.
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Marriott International  (MAR) - Get Report said Wednesday that it was extending to Oct. 2 furloughs that began earlier this year, as the world's largest hotel company continues to suffer under the weight of the coronavirus-pandemic shutdown.

Shares of the Bethesda, Md., company at last check were up 2.2% to $97.

"Given the company’s expectation that prior levels of business will not return until beyond 2021," Marriott said in a statement, "the company anticipates a significant number of above-property position eliminations later this year."

The furloughs and reduced work-week schedules began in April.

Marriott said it was taking action "in light of the increasing likelihood that it will be some time before lodging demand and [revenue per available room] levels recover."

Marriott said it was also implementing a voluntary transition program for on-property and above-property associates in the U.S. for employees who may want to "pursue other opportunities." 

Similar voluntary programs are being considered in other parts of the world, the company said.

"The company is not able at this time to predict how many associates will be affected by these separations or any resulting charges or cost savings," the statement said.

The hospitality company said its corporate employees in Bethesda would be most directly affected by future layoffs. Marriott has 130,000 staffers in the U.S.

The company has 7,400 lodging properties across 30 brands in 134 countries. Marriott's full-service properties typically include multiple restaurants, as well as extensive banquet and catering operations.

Since the public-health issue began escalating in mid-February in the U.S., hotels have lost more than $25 billion in room revenue, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 7.7 million hospitality and leisure jobs were lost in April.