Forty temporarily laid off at Cork hotel as doubts raised over long-term future

Staff at the Blarney hotel and golf resort were hoping against hope that the hotel would reopen tomorrow following its regular January closure.

Forty temporarily laid off at Cork hotel as doubts raised over long-term future

Up to 40 hotel workers in Cork have been temporarily laid-off following confirmation that its closure has been extended by a month.

Staff at the Blarney hotel and golf resort were hoping against hope that the hotel would reopen tomorrow following its regular January closure.

But the surprise closure of its pool and gym complex earlier this month, affecting 10 staff, fuelled fears for the longer-term future of the hotel business.

The hotel workers’ worst fears were realised on Thursday evening when it was confirmed that the four-star facility will remain closed in February.

Bar, chef and accommodation staff have been put on four weeks temporary lay off. Staff have stressed however that the resort’s golf course remains open for business.

It has been left to local management to explain to field customer queries on bookings, vouchers and refunds.

Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry criticised the closure and described the treatment of the workforce as “shoddy in the extreme”.

“Workers who were due to report back to work today were given less than 24 hours notice that their workplace is to remain closed for a further month,” he said.

What is happening in Blarney tells us that the sharp rise in precarious work and the trampling of workers’ rights need to be treated as issues for debate in this election campaign.

At a briefing two weeks ago, the owners told staff that an extended closure would help them secure a reduction in their commercial rates liability of up to €12,000.

However, a spokesperson for the city council said while it has, since January 1, become responsible for the collection of commercial rates in the extended city area, it has not yet approached its rates customers in the ‘transition areas’ — former county areas which became part of the city last May — to discuss their rates liabilities.

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