A group of workers have been left with ‘nowhere to go’ after losing their jobs at a plush Scots hotel just weeks before Christmas.
Fisher’s Hotel in Pitlochry handed out a number of redundancy letters to staff at a crisis meeting on Tuesday after a major slow down in business due to the pandemic.
Trade union Unite Hospitality has urged the company to consider using the Job Retention Scheme in a bid to keep workers employed until March.
They claim that several of the staff who are losing their jobs are from abroad and are being evicted from their accommodation on December 13.
A statement said: “We have been sent this letter by members at Fisher’s Hotel in Pitlochry owned by Castle Hotel Group.
“Workers have been told that they are to be terminated without consultation and evicted from their staff accommodation on 13th December.
“Many of these workers are from Poland/Hungary/Spain/Czech Republic and have nowhere to go.
“Castle Hotel Group can and should be using the Job Retention Scheme to continue furloughing working till March 2021.
“This would cost the company as little as £50 per month per worker.
“The company have even suggested that the workers will be charged for living there until their termination date.
“We call upon Castle Hotel Group to withdraw this callous action just two weeks before Christmas and use the JRS as intended.”
A letter given to staff said they were welcome to stay there until their termination date but that they would be charged for their accommodation until then.
However, when contacted by the Daily Record, general manager Brian Wishart said the hotel would not charge those affected and they would continue to feed them.
He said: “I can confirm that we terminated several positions at Fisher’s Hotel yesterday.
“At yesterday’s meeting all staff were asked to contact me should they have any difficulties in arranging flights home or had difficulty finding alternative accommodation and I am assisting those who have come forward.
“All staff who will be leaving that continue to live in the staff accommodation will not be charged this week or next, but we will continue to feed them.
“It is never ideal to lose staff, especially such a nice group of people.
“With the current restrictions whilst I can’t be certain when we will require to increase our staff, they have been advised we will give them the first refusal of any future jobs.”
He added: “The hotel remains open as we have a social responsibility to the town and we have a small number of rooms every night of essential workers.
“The good news is we have managed to retain a team of 44. At this time of the year that would be around the numbers we have had in the past.
“All of the staff who have lost their jobs were recruited recently since we re-opened in July and they would have been advised that this would have been a possibility when they joined.
“We did hope to take the entire team with us through the winter, however we were denied grant aid. The cost to furlough the entire team would have exceeded £100k.
“This is not a cost the hotel could sustain without government assistance. We feel we have been forced into this decision.
“Fisher’s has a tradition of looking after its people and during the spring lockdown we retained the entire team, had over 25 staff living in the hotel and offered hot meals to the local community and other hotel workers.”
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