AWG Ambassador
Saturday, September 30, 2023
News Shorts

Hotels Still Facing Staff Shortages: Despite surging demand from travelers, hotels are still struggling to find workers. According to a survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 87 percent (as of August 2022) are experiencing staff shortages, which is down from 97 percent in May 2022. Not surprisingly, the dearth of workers is felt hardest in housekeeping, with more than 40 percent of hoteliers labeling it as their toughest role to fill. Respondents said they have offered higher wages—a record at more than $22 per hour on average—more benefits, and additional flexibility to attract workers. Hotels lost nearly 400,000 jobs during the pandemic, and there are currently an estimated 115,000 position vacancies. Source: American Hotel & Lodging Association

A Four-Day Workweek: Move over, remote work. The UK is the latest country to attempt a trial at a four-day workweek—with no drop in pay for its workers—and most are finding that there has been no decrease in productivity. In fact, most firms are reporting that productivity has increased thanks to workers having a better work-life balance, less stress and guilt, and overall sense of well-being. The six-month pilot includes 70 companies and more than 3,300 workers. Fun fact: Then-Vice President Richard Nixon predicted way back in 1956 that the US economy would transition to a four-day workweek. Although his prediction didn’t come true in his immediate future, many American companies are looking at shaking up 20th century thinking for a 21st century workplace. Sources: Forbes, CNN

Canada Lifts COVID Travel Restrictions: Our nation’s northern border is open for business again! Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos announced that as of October 1, travelers to Canada would no longer need to show proof of COVID vaccination, report their health information through the ArriveCAN app/website, submit to testing, or quarantine in order to travel to Canada. Masks have also become optional. The full announcement can be viewed here. Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada, The Canadian Press

N.Y. Limousine Task Force Releases Report: The awful—and preventable—tragedy of the Schoharie crash in 2018 that claimed the lives of 17 passengers, two pedestrians, and the driver is seared into the brains of operators all over the country. The NTSB report found egregious violations and a blatant disregard for safety that had led to the vehicle being placed out of service—including a vice grip over a rear brake line—contributed to the fatal crash. Earlier this year, New York State convened a task force to study safety problems with using these larger vehicles, and if further state legislation was needed to keep the public safe. The report, which was released on September 30, recommended several actions, including improving the communication between the state’s DMV, DOT, and State Police for better policy implementation; retiring these larger vehicles at 10 years or 350,000 miles; equipping vehicles with side-impact protection such as anti-intrusion bars; and conducting a pre-trip safety demonstration with passengers similar to that of airplane travel. The full report can be read here. Source: N.Y. State Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force