I was delighted recently to read some good news about hotel housekeepers in New York City, who were very ably represented by the AFL-CIO in recent negotiations. Hotel housekeepers will be getting raises – some will be making up to $59,000 a year – with full medical and dental benefits, no co-pays, and generous pension contributions. Representatives from the hotel industry observed that while their profits are not so fat, they are doing well enough to share the wealth with the workers. Many have rooms booked out at reasonably high rates and have had very good returns all last year.
By all accounts, the negotiations were fair and amicable. The icing on the cake is that these hotel maids – who suffer a lot of pulled muscles and other maladies related to lifting mattresses, moving heavy furniture while vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms – – are also subject to sexual come-ons from hotel guests who are often in a position corner these hotel workers and take advantage of them. In response, these hotel workers will be getting a “panic button” they can use in the event a guest tries to take advantage of them. Most hotels in New York City are organized. This was good news indeed.