Marriott furloughs thousands at its Bethesda headquarters

The Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 11, 2018. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)

Marriott International, one of the largest employers in the D.C. region, will furlough two-thirds of its 4,000 corporate headquarters workers, and the same amount in its corporate offices around the world.

The furloughs will start in April, and could last as long as 90 days.

Marriott said hotel occupancy in North America and Europe have fallen below 25% in recent weeks, and hotel bookings are down about 70% compared to this time last year.

Marriott is also significantly reducing spending plans, saying it will eliminate approximately one-third of its planned forecast for spending $700 million to $800 million in 2020.

“As travel restrictions and social distancing efforts around the world become more widespread, we are experiencing significant drops in demand at properties globally with uncertain duration,” Marriott said in a statement.

“We are adjusting global operations accordingly, which has meant either reduction in hours or a temporary leave for many of our associates at our properties.”

Marriott will continue to provide employee health benefits.

Marriott is working with drugstore companies that include CVS, and also Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon and grocery delivery company Shipt. Hilton is working with both CVS and Walgreens, as well as Lidl, Amazon and Sunrise Senior living.

For its part, CVS said it has 50,000 jobs to fill immediately.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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