Florida lawmaker, hospitality leaders pushing Congress to pass act to help out-of-work hotel workers

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Congressman Charlie Crist and hospitality industry leaders are encouraging Congress to pass an act that would provide assistance to hotel workers out of work due to the pandemic.

The Save the Hotels Job Act would provide assistance to hotel workers who are still waiting on a callbacks from hotels, including hundreds in Central Florida.

READ: New resource launches in Clermont to help struggling hospitality workers

An estimated 3.1 million hospitality workers lost their jobs in the pandemic.

“We were hit first, we were hit worst, and the experts say that in our industry, in particular, full recovery to 2019 levels is not expected to happen until the end of 2023,” American Hotel Lodging Association CEO Chip Rogers said.

READ: Disney employees lobby for hospitality workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

The act would allow for payroll grants, guarantees for laid off workers to have recall rights to their job, and allow for worker tax credits for the Paycheck Protection Program to try and keep everyone safe.

D. Taylor, the president of UNITE HERE, which represents 300,000 hospitality employees including those at Disney and at the Orlando International Airport, says 70% of their members still have not returned to work.

That includes the cleaning crews, food workers and those at the front desks of all the area’s hotels.

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.