WASHINGTON — Creating Luxury, Enduring Pain, a new study released by UNITE HERE, shows that behind the luxury and comfort that hotel housekeepers provide is "a pattern of persistent pain and injury."
Drawing on analysis covering seven years and 87 hotel properties with approximately 40,000 employees, the evidence strongly implicates increasingly excessive workloads in the rising rates of musculoskeletal disorders among housekeepers, the union says, and the introduction of heavier beds and linens is worsening the situation.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), through its president, Joseph McInerney, claims the study turns "employee safety into a public relations event, aimed at harming the hotel industry's reputation."
Hotels share "a common goal to protect our employees," McInerney says, and are hiring ergonomic experts to evaluate room attendant techniques, implementing comprehensive training programs designed to minimize injuries and investing millions of dollars in automated room cart systems.
The UNITE HERE study can be downloaded online at www.hotelworkersrising.org/pdf/Injury_Paper.pdf.