Company to lay off 62 at Dayton International Airport

It's the latest round of layoffs in the bleakest time for American aviation in decades



After a day of uncertainty in the state’s reporting of a catering company’s planned layoffs at Dayton International Airport, a spokeswoman for the company told the Dayton Daily News Tuesday that, in fact, 62 employees will be laid off from the airport in about two months.

Late last week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services posted a WARN (Worker Adjustment Retraining Notice) letter from HMSHost warning of 62 layoffs from its workforce at October at Dayton International Airport.

Then late Monday, the state’s WARN board raised the number of affected employees dramatically, to 415, where it stands as of this writing late Tuesday.

A Dayton Daily News reporter called Dorothy Beard, HMSHost human resources manager, who initially said HMSHost doesn’t have 415 employees at the Dayton airport. She referred questions to a colleague.

That colleague, Shayna Iglesias, confirmed that the correct number of expected layoffs in Dayton is 62.

“The correct number is 62,” Iglesias said in an email.

A spokesman for ODJFS Tuesday said the new number of 415 came from the employer after the initial posting last week.

Further questions were sent to ODJFS about the matter Tuesday evening.

“To date, HMSHost continues to see an unprecedented decline in traffic in airports and on the motorways,” the company said in a Aug. 12 letter to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the travel and restaurant industries and, unfortunately, HMSHost sits at the crossroads of both.

“Never in the history of aviation and the hospitality industry, have we experienced such catastrophic customer traffic declines,” the company added.

While HMSHost initially hoped an increase in business would be possible by summer, “the unfortunate (and in March unforeseeable) reality is that it is going to take a significant period for our business to recover,” HMSHost also said in its letter to Ohio government.

Employees who had been furloughed on a temporary basis will see their furlough converted to a permanent layoff on Oct. 15, if they have not been recalled by that date, the company said.

HMSHost is part of Autrogrill S.p.A., an Italian global catering company, which bills itself as “the world’s largest provider of food and beverage services for travelers.” The company says it has 41,000 employees worldwide and annual (pre-pandemic) sales of more than $3.5 billion.

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