Jobs under threat at Edinburgh’s famous Caledonian Hotel

Owner Hilton said it needs to cut 65 full-time roles, which will affect around 200 staff members.

Jobs under threat at Edinburgh’s famous Caledonian Hotel SNS

Jobs at an iconic five-star hotel in Edinburgh are under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hilton, which owns Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, said it needed to cut 65 full-time roles in an effort to protect the business long-term.

Around 200 staff members will be affected under the proposals.

As reported by STV News on Wednesday, more than 100 jobs are at risk at Glasgow Hilton.

Despite the tourism and hospitality industries being allowed to reopen, Hilton has not been able to restart its full range of facilities due to social-distancing restrictions.

The multi-national hotel chain anticipates it will be relying on domestic guests until demand increases for leisure and business travel, in particular conferences and events.

In response to the job cuts in Edinburgh, a Hilton spokesperson said: “Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our industry and with social distancing measures and travel restrictions remaining in place, it is unlikely we will get back to normal operations for some time. 

“As a result, we are having to make some very difficult decisions about our future structure. 

“We have worked hard to minimise the impact on jobs so far, but we have been left with no choice but to resize and restructure the team at The Caledonian. 

“Over the coming weeks, we will be discussing future plans with our team members so that we can hear their views and minimise the impact on jobs as much as possible.”

Union Unite said some of its members would be protesting the cuts outside the hotel on Thursday afternoon.

A Unite spokesperson said: “Hilton appear determined to follow in the footsteps of InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott in terminating scores of staff in the middle of a pandemic when there is a perfectly reasonable alternative in the Job Retention Scheme till at least October. 

“The only reason they are terminating staff this early is because by September they will be expected to contribute a fraction of the cost of wages for staff currently furloughed. 

“We would urge Hilton to rethink its heartless treatment of staff who will most likely be unable to find work in the industry for at least six months.”

The Caledonian Hotel, which was constructed from 1899 to 1903, was part of the Caledonian Railway’s Edinburgh Princes Street railway station.

It was a rival to the North British Railway’s North British Hotel, which opened at the other end of Princes Street in 1902.

Famous past guests include Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

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