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  • Stephan Busch

Companies taking care of their staff & crew? The good - the bad and the ugly

Staff, crew and employees are in this crisis either protected by governments or their employer. In hospitality many fall between the caps and see nothing right now. Lets have a short look at the good companies and the ones that still have to proof how good they are.

Viking Cruises

one of the world’s fastest-growing luxury cruise lines announced a quite generous financial compensation for its crew amid the global coronavirus crisis

· -Crew at home waiting to join the Viking ships will receive 50% of their monthly salary.

· -Hotel crew who are on board the Viking ships will receive 60% of their monthly salary, plus every second day off.

· -Deck and technical crew onboard will continue to work as usual and will receive 100% of their monthly salary.

What is quite interesting about this offer is that Viking decided to include the first time crew.


The Dorchester Collection

announced this week that despite the significant hit to its luxury hotel business brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, it would take the extraordinary step of fully guaranteeing the jobs of all of its employees, including providing uninterrupted pay for those employees regardless of the duration of the pandemic

Dorchester CEO Christopher Cowdray in announcing the decision to the company’s roughly 3,600 employees worldwide.

Darden Restaurants

Tip a hat to Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and other casual sit-down chains. The company announced last week that it had implemented a paid sick leave policy for its 190,000 employees, including a starting balance for those with at least six months of employment. (Unfortunately this does not apply for their additional franchises but this is a problem we also see with all franchises)

And the others?

Now for the companies that don’t take responsibility lets wait a while and see. Fair enough not to pay the employees and closing forever but not to pay to protect your own deep pockets isn’t fair at all. The CEO’s from big companies waiving their salary are also not that impressive. Making 25 Million a year and giving up a few month can’t be compared to staff that has to live from pay cheque to pay cheque. Many companies especially with seasonal workers and ship board crew simply terminated all contracts well knowing that most of their staff will have zero income.

Here some not too good news from the last days:

P&O Cruises

The Leading British cruise line P&O Cruises announced that the crew will receive a goodwill payment

P&O Cruises crew will receive 30 days’ notice for ending of the contract and will get paid for those 30 days. If the crew contract is due to end after June 30, they will get paid 40% of their salary

If their contract has already ended or it will end soon they will stop working and remain on board as visitors. After their contract has ended and moving forward they will get paid 5£ per day or 150£ per month as goodwill payment by P&O

Virgin Atlantic

Now cast a gimlet eye in the direction of Richard Branson, whose Virgin Atlantic is asking its 10,000 employees to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months in an effort to “drastically reduce costs without job losses.” (Virgin Atlantic is losing money, but Branson’s net worth is more than $4 billion.)


McDonald’s, as it happens, has been a powerful opponent of policies that would hold franchise parent companies such as itself responsible for pay and workplace conditions at its franchise locations. They simply don’t care.


Amazon hourly workers are entitled to unlimited time off through the end of March — unpaid.


MARCH 16, 2020)

Royal Caribbean

"As the cruise industry races to get passengers around the globe caught on coronavirus-infected ships home safe, the crew is increasingly trapped on board — some with COVID-19, and some without pay."

Even though Royal Caribbean recently obtained private loans totaling $2,200,000,000, it seems like it can't find a way to pay even the basic wages of the crew for even another month? Carnival Corporation is also in negotiation to obtain billions of $$$ in loans.

(Cruise Law news, Jim Walker, 30.03.2020)

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,  

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