Some of the largest hotel chains in the country are spending millions to attract travelers, but is it at the expense of their housekeeping staff? As first reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, many hotels have pumped up their pillows in an effort to create more comfortable sleeping arrangements for their guests. Although the dehemoths, duvet covers, down comforters, 300-thread-count sheets, shams, bed skirts, bolsters and bed scarves are appealing to guests, the additions are wreaking havoc on the hotel housekeeping staff.

The problem, according to union representatives, doctors and those charged with keeping the beds made, is housekeepers are expected to clean the same number of rooms per shift. It is estimated that the new elaborate beds take about 15 minutes to change, leaving only about 15 minutes to tend to the other tasks in guests rooms. This has proved difficult as the staff hurts themselves trying to keep up.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 17,980 injuries among housekeepers and maids across the country in 2004 that led to days missed from work. It is expected that the number are even higher, but many workers are reluctant to report their injuries for fear of being reprimanded or fired.

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