The CEO of the Dorchester Collection, which operates the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, released a statement on Wednesday assuring employees that their jobs would be secure despite a decline in business because of a boycott of Brunei’s implementation of Sharia law.
The Dorechester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is controlled by the country’s government.
There has been little doubt that the boycott — which gained steam last week when a number of industry groups pulled out of events at the hotels — has hurt business. Studio chiefs and talent agencies have publicly and privately vowed not to patronize the hotels, while the Beverly Hills City Council passed a resolution calling for Brunei to divest its ownership in the properties.
In the fallout from the boycott, the Dorchester Collection initially focused on attention on their employees, whom they said would ultimately be hurt while the protest was better directed to Washington and world leaders. But the CEO of the Dorchester Collection has also made assurances that they would retain the employees. Last week, the hotel group retained Mark Fabiani, a crisis PR strategist, to advise during the boycott.
In a statement, Dorchester CEO Christopher Cowdray said that they have “announced to the employees of The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air that their jobs are secure, and that their wages (including service charges, gratuities and benefits) would be maintained despite the decline in business. The announcement was first made at a town hall meeting of hotel employees on May 8th.”