When women put on a housekeeper’s uniform, they become invisible. Many people go to expensive hotels and get great service and never know what’s behind the scenes. Behind the experience of comfort and luxury that hotel housekeepers provide is a persistent pattern of pain an injury. Some injuries can be debilitating.
In a 2010 study of hotel worker injuries from 50 U.S. hotels published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, housekeepers working at Hyatt hotels had the highest injury rate of those hotels studied. On Feb. 10, workers and allies from across the U.S. held actions at Hyatts, protesting working conditions.
Hyatt says: "[O]ur OSHA data for 2008 and 2009 clearly show that both the frequency and severity of injuries have been reduced across all locations in North America for housekeepers and other associates."
However, OSHA records from the twelve Hyatt properties where workers filed health and safety complaints tell a different story. A majority of these hotels saw increases in the total injury rate from 2008 to 2009. Moreover, at a majority of these properties, the total injury rate in 2009 was higher than the state average for the hospitality industry.
Workers and community allies in several cities across the U.S. are standing together to say, WORK SHOULD NOT HURT!