to cut workforce 25% to cut workforce 25%; consequences for Dutch workers unclear

by Arianna Ardia-Wenink
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Travel booking website announced that it has to cut about a quarter of its worldwide jobs due to the coronavirus crisis. That means that some 4 thousand to 5 thousand of the total 17,000 jobs will disappear. The implications for the company’s Amsterdam headquarters and the around 6 thousand employees working there are as yet unclear. Staff were briefed on the job losses on Tuesday morning. Many employees are expats.

Due to the corona crisis, like many other travel organizations we have to take the very difficult step of shrinking our global workforce with the intention that this will affect up to 25 percent of the global workforce, a spokesperson for said to NOS. Booking was hit hard by the downturn in the global travel industry as a result of the pandemic. The company saw bookings fall by 85 percent in April.  Due to the low number of intercontinental flights and the stalled business market, the number of overnight stays booked remained low in the current summer season.

The American accommodation booking site is one of the largest employers in Amsterdam. Around 6,000 people work at the head office and ten other offices in the Dutch capital. The spokesperson could not tell NOS how the layoffs would affect its Dutch workers. In the coming weeks it must become clear which departments, countries and how many employees are affected. made use of the government’s NOW regulation and received 64.5 million euros in subsidy so it could continue to pay its workers in the Netherlands. The spokesperson told NOS that without this NOW regulation, the number of employees affected by this reorganization would be much higher.

The booking site no longer applied for NOW in the second round. This is a conscious choice, because the company anticipates that the contraction in the travel industry will continue for several years.

The significant job cut at Booking is comparable to that of other travel platforms, which are also suffering severely from the crisis. Home rental site Airbnb and platform TripAdvisor previously reported that they are also saying goodbye to a quarter of the staff.

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