Omni Inns and Resorts says Union Lied and Pittsburgh staff obtained cash from the lodge’s PPP mortgage – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – KDKA has an update on an investigation into the ongoing dispute between the Omni William Penn Hotel and the union over a paycheck protection program loan.

Last week, KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller interviewed two employees of the Omni William Penn Hotel on leave. Both claimed they had not worked a day since March.

RELATED STORY: Struggling Omni William Penn workers call for accountability, saying they saw no money from the hotel’s PPP loan

“Really, the staff built this place up and now they feel abandoned,” said Will Arthur, an employee on leave.

“It’s really difficult to have groceries, toiletries, clothing, and a full life with three kids,” added Zebedee Williams, another employee on leave.

Both said they didn’t see a paycheck from the hotel’s $ 3.5 million PPP loan.

Omni Hotels and Resorts is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. It is a private company and has advised KDKA that it does not need to disclose any financial information. Because of this, KDKA’s Meghan Schiller originally didn’t offer a breakdown of how much of the Pittsburgh hotel’s $ 3.5 million PPP loan was wound up in the pockets of union officials.

But after KDKA’s story aired last week, the Omni claimed that the hotel workers union UNITE Here lied and workers received money.

We have referred these concerns to Nia Winston, UNITE Here, General Vice President.

“Show us the receipts, show us the evidence of what you did, and the facts will be the facts,” Winston said.

(Photo credit: KDKA)

Winston told KDKA she stood by her claim that the hotel did not distribute its $ 3.5 million loan to its laid-off employees. The union represents 262 Omni William Penn employees, including Arthur and Williams.

After our first story aired, Kristen Cadenhead, Omnis communications director, emailed KDKA saying, “It is important to know that Ms. Winston, UNITE Here, the local union president, is lying to you, and therefore the viewers of KDKA Has.”

The email continued: “Omni William Penn used more than $ 2 million of his PPP loan for wages and benefits as a hotel, and a significant portion of that was for union members. Additionally, as a brand, we have spent more than $ 51 million, the vast majority of all loans on all of our hotels, on wages and benefits. “

Meghan Schiller from KDKA asked Cadenhead: “What exactly do wage and salary costs mean?” KDKA wanted to find out how much of the $ 3.5 million loan was used on employee paychecks.

Cadenhead replied as follows:

Our union members at Omni William Penn are represented by five different unions. In all of these unions, we paid nearly $ 750,000 for a variety of eligible expenses related to employees, including regular salaries, overtime pay, vacation pay, vacation pay, meal grants, and pension contributions.

KDKA passed this response on to Winston, who continued to ask the Omni for their “receipts.”

“Where did that $ 2 million come from? Are you saying you gave $ 2 million to 16 workers who worked in a given period of time? “Said Winston.

Winston checked her numbers and told KDKA that Omni called 16 of the union’s 262 employees back last spring and summer to work for seven weeks. But she claims that is far from providing the $ 3.5 million for employees on leave.

“None of our laid-off workers, none of them received anything. So I want to ask the Omni to show us the receipt, ”said Winston.

Winston told KDKA that the union knows its employees on leave have not received any money because they cannot deduct union dues from non-existent paychecks.

The Omni declined to conduct an on-camera interview, but said it is currently accepting reservations with Omni William Penn starting April 1.

“However, this is not a specific reopening date as it depends on the current very low volume of business,” said Cadenhead.

Winston told KDKA that the tentative reopening date was new to them and that the union workers had not yet been called back.

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