What to Expect as New York City’s Private Clubs Reopen

June 16, 2021 10:22 AM

New York’s clubs, hotels, and casinos have started to reopen their doors. All but two clubs have reopened. The Princeton Club, which is one of the clubs currently closed, will reopen on July 7th. While the clubs will likely not return to pre-pandemic business for many months, the outlook for the industry is generally encouraging.

Each club will rebound differently

The recovery of each club will be driven by the desire of its private members to return. Each property’s recovery will be unique, as it will be heavily dependent on the nature of that club’s specific operation and its membership base.

Even as the clubs reopen, not everyone will be called back to work immediately. As of now, just under 40% of our members in the Clubs have been called back to work, meaning the majority of club employees are still at home.

Union protections throughout the pandemic

Throughout this pandemic, a priority for our Union has been to maintain health benefits for as long as possible and to seek negotiate extensions to the expiring club contracts. Over the past 16 months, despite horrible economic conditions, our Union was able to negotiate four contract extensions, all with wage increases equal to the increases of the previous contracts. Negotiations are ongoing at three others, the Harvard Club, 101 Club, and the Yale Club.

Laid off members: what to expect while you wait to be recalled

Income: Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Biden in March, your unemployment and the $300-a-week federal subsidy will continue through Labor Day, September 6th. As of right now, unemployment benefits in New York State will continue for even longer, extending through the end of 2021 for workers who were laid off in March 2020. However, the length of unemployment benefits could change – and even go down – depending on the level of unemployment in the State later this year.

Healthcare: Our Union’s contract enforcement and legal teams worked tirelessly to extend healthcare coverage in individual negotiations with each of the Local 6 clubs at the start of the pandemic. However, as it became painfully clear that both the pandemic and the closure of clubs, hotels, and casinos, would last well into 2021, we began working on getting help from the federal government.

Local 6 Business Manager Rich Maroko and our Union’s political team worked side by side with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to win 100% subsidized COBRA as part of the American Rescue Plan. COBRA is a federal law that allows workers to continue their health care if they are laid off, but normally, workers need to pay out of pocket to get continued health care under COBRA. We asked the federal government to pick up 100% of the cost of COBRA due to the pandemic and Majority Leader Schumer made it happen. The American Rescue Plan provides for fully government paid COBRA care for eligible workers now through September 30th.

It’s not too late to sign up. As long as you are not eligible to get health care from another source – such as a spouse’s plan, a second job, or Medicare – you likely qualify for this benefit, meaning you can get your insurance back and the government will pay for it through the end of September. If you use the health centers, sign up here: hotelfunds.org. If you are on the employer’s plan, contact HR at your club.

Health and safety when you return

After getting the call to return to work, the concern that many will have is workplace safety. You can rest assured that the Union will do everything in its power to ensure that you return to a safe workplace. But the truth is, there is nothing that can protect you from this disease, at work, at home, or anywhere else like the vaccine. If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, we urge you to do so right away. Sign up to get the vaccine at our health centers here: hotelworkers.org/covid19/getyourshot

Contact us

While we understand that nothing can alleviate the anxiety of not knowing when you will go back to work, we hope the information in this article helps to lessen it. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at (212) 245-8100 and select option #1.

Not a club member? Learn more about the projected recovery for hotels and casinos here.