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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesLABOR FORUM TO ADDRESS HOSPITALITY CUTBACKS

LABOR FORUM TO ADDRESS HOSPITALITY CUTBACKS

Sept. 18, 2001 – The Labor Department will hold a town meeting at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel on St. Thomas. Labor Commissioner Cecil Benjamin said the focus of the meeting will be on hospitality industry workers' concerns in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the mainland.
Labor Department officials will be on hand to answer questions and Benjamin has invited the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce to send a representative.
Labor spokeswoman Rhona Martinez said the department expects the number of visitors to drop as a result of the Sept. 11 violence and the predicted war against terrorism. This will have a huge negative impact on the hospitality industry, she said, and hospitality industry workers need to prepare for the anticipated loss of jobs. "They need to know their rights," she said.
They also need to know what to do if those rights are violated, what Labor Department division is responsible for handling their claim or concern, and where they can go for specific services, Martinez said.
She said services that the Labor Department offers to help displaced workers include unemployment insurance, job training and help from the Dislocated Workers Unit, which assists those who lose their jobs with such things as contacting their banks to negotiate new loan-payment plans. "And we can direct them to other services," she said.
The town meeting, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., is the second is a series planned earlier this year by the Labor Department. The first was in July on St. Croix with Hovensa oil refinery workers. Martinez said another meeting is planned for St. John in October, but no date has been set.

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