Hospitality businesses rally to help axed Virgin Hotels Glasgow staff

On Tuesday, Virgin Hotels Glasgow closed with immediate effect after its operating company collapsed into administration.

The hospitality industry in Glasgow has rallied to support workers at Virgin Hotels Glasgow after it emerged more than 100 staff members would be made redundant just days before Christmas.

On Tuesday, Virgin Hotels Glasgow closed with immediate effect after its operating company collapsed into administration.

Following the shock news, hospitality businesses across the city offered help to those affected.

Oran Mor, in the city’s west end, said it was “saddened” by the news, and said its team was on hand to help find availability for any festive celebrations that may have been affected, as well offering support to members of staff who found themselves unemployed.

David Robertson, Oran Mor’s general manager said that the Virgin Hotels Glasgow closure was a “big loss” for the city’s hospitality sector.

“There was a real buzz around the opening, I know a lot of people who applied for jobs, who work there, walking by, being in the city – there was a great buzz around it, I think its just a real shame,” he said.

“With Christmas coming up you want to make sure not only that your books are full, but also that your staff are having a good time and being looked after.”

He added that Virgin Hotels Glasgow staff could get in touch however they liked, and that Oran Mor will do its best to look after them.

Mr Robertson said: “We put some messaging out yesterday to say, you can get in touch however you want, see if you want to just pop in for a coffee we’re lucky enough to operate four venues, when we look ahead to January we’re looking at Celtic Connections, Burns Night etc, so we’ve got opportunities here.

“If you need some help, if you need anything, just pop in for a coffee, there’s always one of us here and we’ll do our best to look after you.”

Dakota Hotels, which operates in both Glasgow and Motherwell, also said that affected employees could contact their recruitment teams, who would try to help.

In a LinkedIn post, the company said: “Dakota Hotels are deeply saddened for the team at Virgin Hotels Glasgow after their sudden closure this morning. 

“The Glasgow hospitality industry is woven deep into Dakota’s DNA, with a strong connection and love for the city. 

“By working together, the hospitality industry and the team within it has always grown from hardships and come out stronger every time. As an industry we pride ourselves on constantly supporting each other, especially when sharing such an incredible city like Glasgow. 

“Dakota Hotels would like to do everything in its power to help the former team at Virgin Hotels Glasgow in every way we can. Please email our Eurocentral and Glasgow recruitment teams with your CV and we will aim to respond with any opportunities coming in the future as quick as possible.”

Former employees of Virgin Hotels Glasgow are to rally outside the building from 2pm on Wednesday to demand wages, redundancy pay and compensation.

It is understood that at 4pm on Wednesday afternoon, all Virgin Hotels Glasgow staff members will join a call with bosses to hear further information about what is next for them.

The plush hotel on Clyde Street, which finally opened to fanfare on August 18 after its opening date was pushed back multiple times, had been welcoming guests for just four months.

Uncertainty had loomed for more than two weeks as on December 1, the property firm behind the hotel and which Virgin Hotels has a management contract with – Lloyds Developments Limited – fell into administration due to financial difficulties.

Interim managers were appointed at the time but staff had been assured it was “business as usual” and there was no threat to jobs.

It is understood the company which operated the hotel, V Hotel Glasgow Limited, had insufficient funds to continue.

Bryan Simpson, Unite the union’s lead organiser for the hospitality sector said: “The way in which workers at Virgin Hotels have been treated by the company is outrageous. Our members were told yesterday by the CEO – who flew in from Miami – that the hotel would be closing with immediate effect, without the required 45 days notice or consultation, all just six days before Christmas.

“This isn’t just morally reprehensible, it may be unlawful and workers are taking action in order to send a clear message to their employer that they want their wages for the entire month of December, redundancy pay and compensation.”

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