From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Thousands of employees could strike in Las Vegas
- European data rules could spark fight
- What hoteliers should know about prepping for summer
- Former Anbang head sentenced
- Interest rates held flat in the UK
Thousands of employees could strike in Las Vegas: Officials with the Culinary Union say the 50,000 Las Vegas casino kitchen employees, food and cocktail servers, housekeepers and other employees they represent will vote on 22 May whether to authorize a strike, The Washington Post reports. The strike could take place at any point starting on 1 June, around when the union’s current contracts expire.
“On May 22, thousands of union members will show casino employers that workers are going to fight for security and that they are not going to be left behind as companies are making record profits and getting windfall tax breaks,” Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer, said in a statement.
The last time a citywide strike occurred was in 1984 and lasted 67 days, according to the article. While union members lost about $75 million in wages and benefits, the city lost a similar amount in tourism revenue.
European data rules could spark fight: The online ecosystem could see some massive change in the coming weeks as the European Union’s new data privacy rules go into effect and massive companies like Facebook and Google—which are built largely around amassing and monetizing consumer data—look for ways to undermine or circumvent those rules, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, goes into effect on 25 May.
The newspaper reports some companies could look at freezing out some users who don’t voluntarily give up the data that the GDPR is designed to protect.
“There are certain elements of the service which are core to providing it and which people can’t opt out of entirely, like ads,” Stephen Deadman, Facebook’s global deputy chief privacy officer, told The Journal. “There’s no point in buying a car and then saying you want it without the wheels. You can choose different kinds of wheels, but you need wheels.”
What hoteliers should know about prepping for summer: Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller includes some important tips for hoteliers looking to get ready for the summer travel season, including aspects of how to handle staffing issues, design tweaks and food-and-beverage changes.
Miller writes that to properly prepare for the season, hoteliers should approach it with “a great deal of planning and attention to detail.”
“Essentially the whole operations change like the seasons do,” said Danielle Inzano, director of sales and marketing at New York City’s Dream Downtown. “It’s a pretty significant process that goes on.”
Former Anbang head sentenced: Wu Xiaohui, who until recently served as chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, has been sentenced by Chinese authorities to 18 years in prison on charges of fraud and embezzlement, Reuters reports. The Chinese government seized Anbang’s assets, including the Waldorf Astoria in New York, three months ago.
The New York Times reports that Wu’s arrest and sentencing are part of the country’s larger crackdown on risky borrowing.
“Like any deleveraging campaign, it is not painless,” Christopher Lee, a China credit specialist at S&P Global, told The Times. “There will be losers.”
Interest rates held flat in the U.K.: As regular interest-rate increases become the expectation in the United States, officials in the United Kingdom have elected not to follow suit amid fears of “a temporary soft patch” in the English economy. The BBC reports the Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold and cut its growth forecast for the year to 1.4% from an earlier projection of 1.8%.
Fitch Ratings officials believe a rate increase is still likely for later in the year.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.