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Hyatt Hotels Laying Off 350 Chicago Workers Not Long After Giving Free Vacations To NYC Hospital Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Hyatt Hotels are laying off 350 workers in Chicago alone, all while passing out thousands of free vacations to essential workers in New York City.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, the massive cuts targeted 350 corporate jobs in Chicago. The company's decisions were raising some eyebrows Tuesday night.

"What could be better than a free vacation?" Hyatt chief executive officer Mark Hoplamazian said as he brought New York City health care workers to their feet.

Hyatt teamed up with American Airlines to give the entire staff of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst in Queens a three-night, all-expense-paid vacation.

The staff of more than 4,000 at the Queens hospital was thrilled. But within days, Hyatt was sending 350 workers back in Chicago to the unemployment line.

The same COVID-19 pandemic for which Hyatt offered the free vacations for the hospital workers is the same reason it blames for the massive corporate layoffs.

Hyatt reported the first quarter of 2020, it saw its net income decreased 262.8%. That is equal to a net loss of $103 million compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The layoffs aren't just in Chicago. Worldwide, 1,300 workers won't return to the hotel giant.

Those 350 high-paying jobs equate to a third of Chicago's corporate workforce. The eliminated jobs add to the already swelling Illinois unemployment numbers.

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