Unions Target Hotels for Unbearable Upgrades
Although upgraded beds, more sheets and blankets, and at least double the pillows will undoubtedly impress hotel guests, it is putting unnecessary pressure on housekeeping staff, says the Sacramento Business Journal.
According to the article, with most of Greater Sacramento's eight unionized hotels facing labor negotiations this spring and summer, union leaders are focusing on the fancy bedding. In addition to the basic issues of pay and benefits, the unions are targeting the workload expected of hotel workers – especially in housekeeping. They want more housekeeping staff working the floors or lower requirements for how many rooms maids must finish in a shift.
"Bedding is part of the working conditions in a hotel, and it is one of our priorities to reduce the workload of the housekeeping staff," said Joe McLaughlin, president of Local 49 of UNITE HERE, the hotel and restaurant union.
As beds and their accessories grow in size and number, the union is making it a priority to reduce the number of rooms requirement that housekeepers must do in a day. Right now, housekeepers get behind because of the added work. To make up for the time, they will often skip their breaks to catch up. Union officials claim that these working conditions were addressed in negotiations last year, but were never resolved.
"Compared to what they are making on the rooms, the hotels are not paying these ladies a whole lot of money," McLaughlin said. "On a day-to-day basis, the toughest job in a hotel is the housekeeper."
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