Really cool Hyatt article in USA Today

USA Today has a really cool article today about Hyatt and what they’re doing to innovate the hotel industry. No doubt Hyatt deserves a ton of credit for their creativity as of late. I still love InterContinental and Priority Club, though I’ve made nearly 50 stays at Hyatt properties since March. They’re just incredibly customer friendly and have some really neat brands and great promotions. If only they had more locations.

There’s one part of the article that just makes absolutely no sense to me, quoting the union that represents many of the employees:

At Hyatt Place, housekeeping has changed for good.

The chain gives guests the option of declining daily room cleaning, which is the most costly option for a hotel owner. Guests can accept a lighter, faster cleaning, which includes having their trash removed, beds remade with the same sheets and bathroom towels hung back on racks.

Workers don’t like the changes because reduced services mean fewer hours on the job, says Annemarie Strassel, spokeswoman for Unite Here, the union that represents Hyatt workers in 17 states and last week organized protests against Hyatt hotels in 15 cities.

Housekeepers also say the practice is more work because they have to clean up a two- or three-day mess in the same amount of time.

“It’s created a double burden on workers by both eliminating jobs and creating conditions for housekeepers that are unsafe,” Strassel says.

So it means fewer hours yet more work? While hotels are no doubt trying to cut costs nowadays, I don’t think the level of effort exerted by housekeepers is all that variable. I think they perform at a consistent level regardless of how busy they are, and if they can’t finish everything in a day, the hotel is stuck giving out more hours to employees or hiring more people.

And this creates unsafe working conditions?!?

But a great article nonetheless…

Comments

  1. This article reminds me when I checked into the Hyatt Place Dulles-North. When we got to the room, the bed wasn’t made, towels on the floor, beer bottles in a few places, and of course–the TV was on. Don’t stay at this Hyatt Place, folks! I’m guessing someone had checked the room off as being clean, which is why the kiosk assigned us this room.

    I think hotel employees do deserve better pay for those who have earned it and if their base pay isn’t up to par with the consumer price index (as well as any other industry I suppose ;))

  2. This is the second post you’ve written where you’ve been unsympathetic to service workers in hotels. When you reviewed the Andaz West Hollywood you wished unemployment on demonstrators trying to get a better contract. In this article you are puzzled how cleaning up a two or three day mess is more work.

    You have obviously never worked as a housekeeper at a hotel. I respectfully suggest you spend a few days giving it a try before you pass judgment on variations in workload and the safety of working conditions.

    Seriously, your continued lack of empathy and compassion for those doing one of the hardest jobs in the industry should be cause for reflection and reconsideration before you write anything more about the life of service workers in hotels.

  3. Bruce makes some good points. I think it would be interesting to read what you discovered if you spent some time seeing hotel life from the “other side”.

  4. Gotta say… I kind of with Bruce on this one, too. Empathy can be a good thing.

    But from a purely economic standpoint, where’s my motivation to not have my room cleaned every day? Perhaps if I got a $10 credit to my room for not having it cleaned, I might be inclined to try it. But otherwise, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  5. Easy, folks! I just thought it was funny that the person quoted claims that this makes “unsafe” working conditions. This is like a flight attendant suggesting they can’t serve beverages on a flight for security reasons, when we all know the real reason.

  6. Screw unions. I mean SCREW THEM.

    Every single time I have a dealing with a union member here in Chicago it ends up costing me time, money, trouble, or some combination of the three.

    Kowtowing to government unions, the UAW, the SEIU, etc. is why this country is headed for bankruptcy.

    Screw ’em.

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