Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been urged to intervene on behalf of Randolph Hotel workers made redundant due to a major revamp.

It emerged yesterday that Graduate Hotels, which bought the Randolph in Oxford in December, is to make 75 out of 84 staff redundant as it embarks on a six-month refurbishment beginning on October 17.

General manager Philip Lewis confirmed the redundancies in a email to regular guest Stuart Jarvis and said he hoped many of the staff would apply for positions when a “vigorous recruitment drive” started in March 2021.

Read again: Randolph Hotel to close for six months with staff made redundant

But Mr Jarvis said this was not good enough and has contacted Sir Keir’s office to urge the Labour leader to support staff in any way he can.

Oxford Mail:

Sir Keir Starmer

Former cinema manager Mr Jarvis, who lives in Milton near Abingdon, said: “These staff have been treated very shabbily - many of them have been loyal to the Randolph for years and now they face a very uncertain future.

“I would urge the hotel’s American owners to at least guarantee them they can have their jobs back in six months’ time if that’s what they want.

Oxford Mail:

Stuart Jarvis

“I do think Graduate Hotels could remedy this situation very easily by offering to give staff their jobs back when the Randolph reopens but I suspect that is not going to happen.”

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Mr Jarvis claimed staff were “promised” their jobs would be safe when (AJ) Capital Partners bought out the Macdonald chain at the end of last year.

He added: “The new owners knew this refurbishment would be taking place and could have put in place a package to retain staff rather than get rid of them.”

It is understood that some staff who have been on furlough due to the coronavirus crisis are among those losing their jobs.

Oxford Mail:

Managers are continuing to brief staff about the redundancy programme.

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Labour MP for Oxford East Anneliese Dodds has expressed her concern.

The Shadow Chancellor added staff would be in a difficult position due to the current low rate of vacancies in the hospitality sector caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The MP said: “The Randolph is a world-renowned hotel, not least because of the hard work and professionalism of its staff. Now is a particularly hard time to lose your job, especially due to the low rate of vacancies in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

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"My thoughts are with affected workers and their families and I hope that there is some way they can be helped through this uncertain period.

Oxford Mail:

Anneliese Dodds

"I would encourage workers to reach out to local advice centres and my office if they need practical support at this difficult time.”

Oxford Mail reader ‘Mr Wasp’ told “This American company didn’t have to sack most of the staff. They could have retained them.”

Sir Keir's office has responded to Mr Jarvis saying Sir Keir will look at his plea for staff to be supported.

Graduate Hotels has not yet responded to the Oxford Mail's request for a comment.