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28 of 100 laid-off Greenbrier salaried workers rehired

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Twenty-eight of about 100 salaried employees laid off by The Greenbrier resort have been called back to work, hotel owner Jim Justice said Tuesday.

Some of the positions have been combined or eliminated, he said. Justice said he did not know how many positions had been eliminated.

"We're encouraging those people that have not been called back to apply for other positions, [at the resort]," Justice said. "We're continuing to call people back as the business dictates that we can."

In January, the resort laid off about 100 salaried employees and reduced hours for a number of hourly workers. Justice previously told the Gazette the layoffs were temporary and the majority of workers would be called back beginning the first of April. The layoffs were needed to keep the hotel from suffering a $13 million deficit, like it did last year during the winter, Justice has said.

Hotel President Jeff Kmiec said the resort has about 1,600 people on active payroll. During the peak of The Greenbrier's season last year -- typically between Memorial Day and Labor Day -- the resort employed about 1,800 workers, Kmiec said.

Kmiec added that all regular employees who had benefits when they were laid off received the same benefits when they were called back recently.

All of the hotel's hourly employees received a 5 percent raise as of April 1, Justice said.

"You still hate it for everybody that got laid off," Justice said. "If one person is laid off and doesn't have a job, that isn't good. I want everybody to be back."

Longtime public relations director Lynn Swann was one of the employees laid off in January. She recently took a similar job at The Homestead, a luxury hotel in Hot Springs, Va.

Justice said that, so far, Swann's position has not been filled.

"Like I said before, I really like Lynn and I'm sure The Homestead will be really happy with Lynn," Justice said, "but we got a lot of people doing our PR and marketing, inclusive of me, and we may not replace that position. Don't etch that in stone because we may but, right now, we haven't done that."

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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