Hyatt housekeepers have launched a seven-city national tour to bring awareness to the mistreatment of women working at Hyatt Hotels and the hotel industry more broadly. The symbol of the Hope for Housekeepers tour is the Hope Quilt, which has been crafted by housekeepers from across the country. As the tour has progressed from city to city, housekeepers have added patches to the quilt, which is now more than 130 feet long just halfway through the tour. With each patch symbolizing a story of pain or injury brought on by the heavy burden of housekeeping work, the quilt makes visible the lives and struggle of housekeepers everywhere.
The tour was launched in Long Beach in late September and has traveled to northern California and San Antonio, where hundreds of Hyatt workers are organizing. In each city, Hyatt housekeepers have marched with the Hope Quilt along with prominent women leaders and community supporters, who have joined the Hope for Housekeepers campaign in solidarity.
Hope for Housekeepers is a national campaign of women, founded by Hyatt housekeepers across the nation to stop the abuse of women in the hotel industry. Nearly all hotel housekeepers are women, and the work they do is difficult and sometimes dangerous. In a survey of over 600 housekeepers by UNITE HERE, 91% of housekeepers reported that they have suffered work-related pain. Non-union Hyatt housekeepers often clean as many as 30 hotel rooms a day in just eight hours, and many forgo health insurance for their families because of the high cost. Even worse, Hyatt is slashing jobs, discarding women like the Hyatt 100 in Boston who were fired after training their replacements from an outsourcing agency.
Now Hyatt housekeepers are stepping forward to put an end to this abuse. Hyatt housekeepers are uniting with women from across the country to bring a message of hope to the thousands of women working as housekeepers around the globe. Unionized housekeepers have fought for and won more humane workloads, cleaning around 15 rooms a day, to reduce the rate of injury and pain that can lead to permanent disability in this dangerous line of work. These housekeepers have affordable health insurance and job security that rewards women for their years of service.
The tour builds on years of work that Unite Here’s Hotel Workers Rising campaign has lead to improve worker safety and bring greater equality to jobs in the hotel industry. For more information, or to sign the Hope for Housekeepers solidarity pledge, visit www.hotelworkersrising.com/hope.