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Marriott Copley terminates half its staff; thousands of hotel workers unemployed around Boston

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Elizabeth Morales, of Revere, was laid off from the Boston Marriott Copley Place, along with half of the hotel's staff.

Patricia Tchoumi worked at the Boston Marriott Copley Place for 17 years, sometimes pulling double shifts — first as a concierge attendant in the VIP lounge until 11 p.m., then spending the night at the hotel and starting up again as a banquet server at 4 a.m. Tchoumi, 53, has been furloughed since the hotel shut down in March, and in September, the Marriott informed her she was being terminated, along with about half of the hotel’s staff. Her severance pay was less than half what she expected, and if she wants to return, she would have to reapply for her job as a new employee.

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The Marriott Copley Place, the second-largest hotel in Boston, reopened in August and is the latest local property to permanently lay off a substantial portion of its workforce with reduced severance packages. The Four Seasons on Boylston Street did the same thing in May, but after an outcry from workers and guests, the luxury hotel reversed course and offered full separation pay.

The hotel industry has taken a beating during the pandemic, nowhere more so than in Boston. Through September, Boston-area hotels had the largest declines in occupancy, average daily rate, and revenue per available room — the three major metrics of hotel performance — of any major metropolitan area in the country this year, according to the hospitality data company STR.

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