Hyatt housekeepers file injury charges with OSHA - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hyatt housekeepers file injury charges with OSHA

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hyatt housekeepers in eight cities including Honolulu have filed repetitive motion and other injury complaints with federal safety officials.

The charges, filed with the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration, refer to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and 11 other properties in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and four other mainland cities.

They were announced Tuesday by Unite-Here, the parent union of Local 5. The union called the complaints a "landmark multi-city filing."

An OSHA spokesman in Washington D.C. said the agency would make its own determination and any investigation would be conducted without prior announcement.

The union cited an American Journal of Industrial Medicine article earlier this year which found a higher incidence of workplace injury at Hyatt than other hotel chains. It said the study also found that women in general and Hispanic women in particular are more prone to being injured while working as housekeepers.

Hyatt defended its workplace safety record. "Unite Here is making false charges about our work environment," said Robb Webb, chief human resources officer for the chain.

In Hawaii, Local 5 has sought to prevent housekeepers from being asked to clean more rooms per shift, and has charged that recent hotel room renovations have led to heavier bed covers and more surfaces that need to be shined, so that it takes more time to clean a room properly.

It is unusual for any hotel to give a housekeeper more than half an hour to clean a room and 20 minutes is more common, but there are differences between chains and even between individual properties depending on the physical layout of a hotel and how close supplies are to each room.

Local 5 is currently in contract talks with major hotel chains in Waikiki and other locals of the same union have been negotiating for a year or more in San Francisco and other cities.

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