HOTEL workers have been left distraught after they were fired on the spot without explanation.
About 19 staff at five-star Seaham Hall say they were sacked during their shift or called and told not to come in, leaving guests expecting to dine at its former Michelin-starred White Room restaurant on Thursday evening without their meals.
They say owner Seasons Holidays has offered no reason for the move, with some seeking legal action over their dismissal.
Chefs, waiting staff, bar tenders and kitchen porters are among those to have lost their jobs, including one who worked there for a decade.
Among them is David Barker, of the breakfast service team, who lives in Hendon with girlfriend Rachael Martin, 19, and their one-year-old son Jake, who was born with a heart defect.
The 20-year-old says he covered all his shifts, despite the appointments and the two operations the tot has undergone, as he grafted to provide for his family.
He said: “When my boss asked the general manager why we got the sack, he just shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know.
“It’s anger more than anything else we feel because there’s no reason for it.
“I worked 70 hours last week, the week before that 30 hours – nobody said there’s been a problem.”
Head chef Darren Winder, who lives in Seaham with wife Allyson, 39, and their children Ryan, 11, Caitlin, 10, and Kian, four, said: “As far as I’m concerned, we’ve done nothing wrong,”
The 39-year-old added: “Some of the staff have worked there for a long time and done their job well.”
Kitchen porter Rodney Brown, 42, of Thorney Close, and his nephew, Dean Parkin, 34, from Seaham, a chef de partie, have also lost their jobs.
Rodney said: “I loved working there, everybody did.
“We worked hard, that’s why we can’t understand why we were asked to leave.”
Dean added: “I’m just upset. I need the money to pay my bills. There’s just no reason for it.”
Others include Chelsea Jamieson, 19, from Murton, who was also a chef de partie and fulfilled her dream of working at the luxury hotel, only to be devastated by the company’s move.
Its website now states it hosts events but is booked up until 2015.
No one from Seasons or Seaham Hall was available for comment.