Famous Florida Keys resort closed due to Irma; 260 workers lose their jobs

By: Ryan DiPentima, Palm Beach Post

Updated:

DUCK KEY, Fla. - Employees at a resort in the Florida Keys were laid off just weeks after a major hurricane destroyed parts of the resort.

The 260 employees at Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key were terminated via email on Oct. 13 just six weeks after Category 4 Hurricane Irma destroyed some of the resort, according to FLKeysNews.

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Due to the damage, the 60-acre resort will not reopen until at least summer 2018, which led to the decision to lay off employees.

“Our crew members are what make Hawks Cay Resort special. This decision was the most difficult one that we had to make,” managing director Sheldon Suga said in a statement obtained by FLKeysNews.

The lay-offs have irked some employees, who claim that the resort showed little regard for their employees’ safety or well-being following the hurricane.

“The only communication I really had from them after I got back from evacuating was a phone call and it wasn’t, ‘Hi, how are you?’ It was ‘Do you have any of our uniforms?’ I went, ‘Are you serious? My house was flooded and I’m not really worried if I have any of your uniforms,’” an anonymous laid-off employee told FLKeysNews.

The former resort worker also mentioned that nearly 50 of his co-workers moved from the islands and don’t have plans to return after the storm.

“We ensured crew members received hurricane pay up to Oct. 14,” Suga told FLKeysNews. “With a reopening date still unknown, we had to give them notice.” 

Suga also noted that the company will make efforts to help their staff members find employment elsewhere. 

Read more at FLKeysNews

 

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