Employees at Trump hotel in Chicago among thousands in Illinois laid off in March because of coronavirus

©Chicago Tribune

Trump International Hotel & Tower is seen June 6, 2018, in Chicago. Nearly 300 workers at the hotel have been laid off amid the coronavirus outbreak and the shutdown to fight its spread. - Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CHICAGO — Almost 300 employees at the Trump International Hotel & Tower were among more than 14,000 layoffs reported to the state in March, most of them related to the new coronavirus’ effect on the economy as companies cut back or closed their doors.

Restaurants and hospitality businesses, along with many retailers, have been particularly hard hit since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order March 20 to contain the virus’ spread. That order was to expire April 7 but has been extended to April 30.

The 14,702 layoffs reported to the state, however, also demonstrate the wide swath of industries affected by the shutdown and the massive hit to Illinois’ economy and its workforce.

The report’s posting to the state’s website followed news Thursday that a record-breaking 178,000-plus Illinois residents applied for unemployment insurance benefits last week, swelling the ranks of of those needing financial assistance because they have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires businesses with more than 75 workers to give the state 60 days’ notice when closing a plant or laying off more than a third of their workforce. Some companies are exempt from the regulations.

In a more typical month, Illinois’ monthly WARN report is contained to a widely spaced page or two. For March, it was a spreadsheet of almost 200 entries, most of them listing COVID-19 as the cause of the layoff.

Along with the 294 employees laid off at President Donald Trump’s namesake hotel, other large hotel properties reporting layoffs were Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 350 layoffs; Four Seasons Hotel, 308 layoffs; Warwick Allerton, 147 layoffs; Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, 129 layoffs; and Westin Chicago North Shore, in Wheeling, 169 layoffs.

Fabrik Molded Products, a custom injection molding supplier in McHenry, laid off 600 people. Tangent Technologies, a plastic resin manufacturer in Aurora, laid off 180 people. A.R.M. Staffing, in Chicago, laid off 222 workers.

Mass layoffs at multiple locations were reported at Gerber Collision and Glass, Greyhound Lines, XSport Fitness, Impact Networking, Paper Source, Dental Arts Laboratories, California Pizza Kitchen, Great Clips and several YMCA facilities.


©2020 Chicago Tribune