Hotels made severe cutbacks during the pandemic, since revenue was down when people weren’t traveling. Even though travel and room rates are back in the U.S., hotels are trying to hold onto these cuts as much as possible. One of the major ones they’re trying to avoid re-instating is daily housekeeping – because that means they can employ fewer people to clean rooms.
Housekeepers represented by the union UNITE-HERE want guests to request housekeeping every day of their stay. More work for housekeepers means more jobs for union members.
But they aren’t wrong that without daily housekeeping, trash, dirt and debris builds up in guest rooms – and that makes it harder to clean, and often rooms don’t get thoroughly cleaned as a result.
Whether dirty rooms are the fault of housekeepers (who have more work in a given guest room than before and overlook some things), or hotel management (for not giving housekeepers enough time to clean, giving the increased workload when turning a room) the result is the same: dirty rooms.
"I just want to go back to clean rooms daily"
Housekeepers like Elizabeth recorded selfie videos after work to share with hotel guests.
Will you pledge to support housekeepers during your next hotel stay?
— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) May 17, 2022
Hotel housekeepers like Joanne made selfie videos to share why they think automatic daily room cleaning is best for them.
The hotel industry has been trying to phase out automatic daily housekeeping.
📲RT to help Joanne get the word out! pic.twitter.com/nFEcqkNUVf
— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) May 16, 2022
Even if you don’t feel badly for the tough physical labor of housekeepers (though as travelers, it’s hard not to sympathize), if you don’t want to sleep in dirty rooms then you need to patronize hotels that invest in proper housekeeping. I know I try to avoid those that do not.
Here’s a case where the interests of a union and good customer experience really align. That should tell hotel chains and ownership groups something very important.