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On Sep. 22, dozens rallied in support of over 100 workers who were laid off from the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel in Columbia, Maryland, even though their hotel received millions of dollars from the federal government to keep them on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining together with community supporters, UNITE HERE, a union that represents hospitality workers (98% of whom were laid off during the pandemic nationwide), is calling on the hotel’s owner to rehire all 111 laid-off workers. In this special report, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor speaks with Ty Hughes, a UNITE HERE Local 7 member who has worked at the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel for 17 years and is fighting to get his job back.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.