After guests check out from a corner room Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort On Waikiki beach, housekeeper Luz Espejo collected enough trash to fill seven large garbage bags, some scattered under the beds.
She took the linens off the beds, wiped the dust off the furniture, and removed the grime on the toilets and bathtubs. She even got down on her hands and knees to pick up confetti from the carpet that a heavy-duty vacuum failed to swallow.
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Like many other hotels across the United States, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has outlawed daily housekeeping Service, which was already one of the toughest jobs in the hospitality industry, made it even more difficult.
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Industry insiders say moving away from daily cleaning, which gained traction during EpidemicDriven by customer preferences. But others say it has more to do with profits and has allowed hotels to cut the number of housekeepers at a time when most of the immigrant women who take those jobs are still reeling under the coronavirus shutdown. She is struggling with lost work during.
Many homeowners still working say that their hours have been cut and they are being asked to work more in that time.
“It’s a big change for us,” said Espejo, a 60-year-old originally from the Philippines who has cleaned rooms at the world’s largest Hilton for 18 years, almost a year after her closure during the pandemic. was done. “We’re too busy with work right now. We can’t finish cleaning our rooms.” There were 670 housekeepers working at the resort of Espejo before the pandemic. More than two years later, 150 of them have not been hired back or are in on-call status, from 5:30 to 10 each day Waiting for a phone call till o’clock saying they have work.A few weeks back the number not back hire or on call was 300.
“It’s about more money in owners’ pockets by putting more workloads on frontline workers and eliminating jobs,” said D. Taylor, president of Unite Here, a union representing hotel workers.
While some hotels began to use less frequent cleaning in the name of sustainability, it became far more widespread at the start of the pandemic, when in order to promote social distancing and other safety protocols, many hotels offered room cleaning only upon request of a single guest, and sometimes only for a certain number of times. After living Guests were instructed to leave trash outside their door and call the front desk for clean towels.
But as security restrictions fade and demand rises as the country enters its peak travel season, many hotels are implementing their own new cleaning policies.
A spokesperson for Hilton Hawaiian Village said no Hilton representatives were available to be interviewed about such policies at any of Hilton’s properties. Representatives for several major hotel chains, including Marriott and Caesars Entertainment, either declined to be interviewed or did not respond to The Associated Press’s requests for comment.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, a trade group whose members include hotel brands, owner and management companies, said it was demand from guests – not hotel profits – that the pandemic directed about housekeeper services. There were decisions.
“A lot of guests, till date do not want people to come to their rooms during their stay,” he said. “To impose something on a guest that they don’t want means to act in it” hospitality industryThe pandemic changed the standard of most hotel guests seeking daily cleaning, he said, adding that it is not yet clear whether it will result in a permanent change.
Housekeeping policies vary based on the type of hotel, Rogers said, adding that luxury hotels offer daily housekeeping until guests move out.
Ben McLeod of Bend, Oregon, and his family requested housekeeping during a four-night stay at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island in March.
“My wife and I have never really understood why there would be daily housekeeping … when it’s not like that at home and it sucks,” he said.
He said he hopes his kids will clean up after themselves.
“I’m a Type-A, so I get out of bed and I make my bed, so I don’t need anyone else to make my bed,” he said.
Unionized hotel workers are trying to send the message that refusing to clean daily rooms is hurting housekeepers and putting jobs at risk.
Martha Bonilla, who spent 10 years working in Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino, in New Jersey, said it wants guests to ask for daily cleaning, noting that it makes her job less difficult. Even though New Jersey hotels are required by law to offer daily cleaning, some guests turn it down.
“When I come home from work now, I just want to go to bed,” said Bonilla, originally from the Dominican Republic and single mother of a 6-year-old daughter. “I’m physically tired.” Housekeepers say it’s not just guests who threw confetti in Hawaii that leave dirty rooms behind. Even with normal use, rooms are left unclean for days, too hard to restore to the gleaming, pristine rooms guests have come to expect when they check-in.
Alvia Angulo, a housekeeper at the Oakland Marriott City Center for 17 years, is the main breadwinner in her family.
For the first year of the pandemic, she worked one or two days a month. It has regained 40 hours a week, but with rooms no longer being cleaned daily, the number of people working each shift has been reduced from 25 to 12.
“Thank God I have seniority here so now I have five days again, and my pay is the same,” said Angulo, 54, who is from Mexico, “But the work is really hard now. If you don’t clean a room for five days you have five days of scum in the bathroom. It’s scum upon scum.” Many housekeepers are still not getting enough hours to qualify for benefits.
Sonia Guevara, who has worked at the Seattle Hilton for seven years, really enjoyed the benefits of her job. But since returning to work after 18 months off, she hasn’t qualified for health insurance.
“At first I was thinking about getting a new job, but I guess I want to wait,” she said. “I want to see if my hours at the hotel change.” She said there are few other job options in the school with hours conducive to raising two kids.
Now politicians are taking up the issue, including Hawaii State Representative Sonny Ganaden, who represents Kalihi, a Honolulu neighborhood where many hotel workers live.
“Almost every time I talk to people at their doorstep, I meet someone who works at a hotel and then we talk about how they overwork and what’s going on and work. position,” he said. “You have a lot before—and second generation Immigrants who are high and dry by these non-daily room cleaning requirements. Ganaden is among lawmakers who introduced a motion urging Hawaii hotels to “immediately lay off or recall employees who have been hired or on leave” because of the pandemic.
If that’s not enough, Ganaden said he would be open to more forceful measures like some other places have done.
Washington, DC’s city council passed emergency legislation in April requiring hotels in the district to service rooms daily unless guests opt-out.
Amal Hligh, a Moroccan immigrant, hopes the rules mean more hours at the Washington Hilton where she has worked for 22 years. She needs them so that her husband can get health insurance.
“I hope he has this because I worked last month,” she said.
At 57, she doesn’t want to look for a new job. “I’m not young, you know,” she said. “I have to stay.”
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