STAFF at a four star Chester hotel have not been paid for two weeks.
Grant Upton, general manager of the Crabwall Manor, Mollington, confirmed the wages issue in response to an enquiry from the Chronicle after the newsroom received phone calls and emails.
Mr Upton explained that Antler Hotels had taken over eight hotels from the Brook Hotels’ chain, including Crabwall Manor, along with 230 staff, in a ‘quick sale’.
He claimed there had been an issue with the former owners while Antler was still in the process of setting up systems like pay roll for the whole chain.
Mr Upton reassured anybody who had booked their wedding at Crabwall Manor there was nothing to worry about.
He said: “Antler are working vigilantly and honourably. We have got new employers and so far we have no reason not to trust them.”
The Chronicle was told at least one staff member had not been paid since November which the manager emphatically denied although he conceded it was theoretically possible for a new recruit to have been without pay for up to eight weeks.
The parent of one hotel worker claimed his son had not been paid for more than three months but was hanging on based on the promise of ‘redundancy’ money.
He said his son, a former university student, may have been ‘naive’ but he had been keen to gain employment.
The parent said he had paid his son’s rent, loaned him money and sent food parcels.
“I think it’s cruel in the extreme,” said the father, who has written to David Cameron. “I thought we abolished slavery in the 1800s.”
One anonymous staff member, who said they had not received a wage since December, added: “We are not holding our breath. We are still coming in and hoping for the best.”