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Campaign Information | Responsible Tourism

09-04-2014

UITA will launch a global campaign on the working conditions of hotel housekeepers

Norberto Latorre | Rel-UITA

Unions launch an international campaign aimed at different multinational enterprises and companies to improve the regulation of labor in this sector.


Photography by: : treeinggear.com

It will be a global awareness campaign on the health of housekeepers that in many hotel establishments are forced to perform strenuous work at a fast pace and in poor working conditions.

Housekeepers are much more prone to musculoskeletal injuries affecting the lower back, tendons, muscles, nerves and joints of the upper limbs and neck, which can cause both chronic and acute conditions symptoms.

There are numerous recorded cases of young workers who after years of performing this work in extreme conditions are faced with such serious injuries that they can no longer afford any employment.

New forms of work organization and government neglect of essential controls have led to a general increase in these diseases, especially in hotels.
While in some countries affected workers may receive financial compensation for their injury, the damage cannot be repaired, and this is what this prevention campaign aims to avoid; we warn the employer that this is not only the housekeeper’s problem but the company’s problem as well.

As a HRCT sector, we are organizing a campaign to direct at different transnational companies and enterprises. Previously, we studied various countries to obtain direct information on what is happening in several hotels in relation to this issue.

These inputs allowed us not only to define what is necessary to regulate the number of rooms to be cleaned by housekeeper per day, but also, and especially, the number of square meters that should be assigned.

Train, prevent, control

In November 2012, during the annual meeting of the Global Organizing Committee of the HRCT working group for UIF in Cyprus, the preventive measures that should be implemented by companies were approved: training, personal protective equipment, adequate and efficient work tools and proper organization of work.

At the 2012 meeting, standards of daily productivity in square meters were also designed and approved, according to hotel category and types of surfaces to be cleaned.

We advise the unions that are able to discuss collective agreements or employment conditions at the establishment, provincial or national level to adopt this approach.

In Argentina, we have met with representatives of the big hotels and have had a very positive response because they have found it interesting to calculate per square meter.

 

Originally published in Rel-UITA on April 7, 2014. Translation by Noelia Acosta.
Norberto Latorre is Latin American Executive Committee Chairman of the UITA, and director of the Worker’s Union of Tourism, Hotel and Gastronomy of the Republic of Argentina (UTHGRA).

 

 

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