Hotel in Chelsea blames layoffs on Sandy damage

December 07, 2012 11:30AM

The Brodsky Organization and MCR Development, the new owners of the Desmond Tutu Center’s hotel, say they have laid 12 of its 17 workers, due to Hurricane Sandy damage, DNAinfo reported. But the individuals who lost their jobs said they were fired, then offered the same position at lower wages.

“They told us we would have to re-apply for our old jobs, and they said we could get them back at a lower pay for less hours,” one of the laid-off workers, Dan Cortes, told DNAinfo.

As previously reported, the developers are planning to turn the property into a luxury hotel.The property, located at 180 10th Avenue in Chelsea, reportedly suffered major storm surge damage when Sandy hit the city five weeks ago. Flooding damaged its mechanical systems and left the building inoperable as a hotel.

Tyler Morse, MCR Development CEO, told DNAinfo, employees can re-apply for their jobs with the same wages when the hotel reopens. “We told 12 people at the hotel that we have no guests and that they don’t have any hours because we have no guests,” he said.

Turning the property into a luxury hotel would increase staff by 25 percent to accommodate higher-end jobs, such as bellmen, Morse told DNAinfo. [DNAinfo]Zachary Kussin