​Housekeeper Solidarity Wins Improvements

May 19, 2021

MassCOSH is very proud of a brave group of hotel housekeepers who have successfully brought their employer to the bargaining table to address workplace bullying, back wages, overtime, stolen tips, and retaliation damages.  

Last year, housekeepers employed by a temp agency and working for a Logan Airport-area hotel came to MassCOSH after attempts to negotiate with their hotel management fell on deaf ears. The workers disclosed that they had recently been required to start work an hour before punching in and had been required to work off the clock if they had not cleaned a certain number of rooms before their shift was over. They also regularly worked through their lunch break despite it being unpaid. Working throughout the pandemic, they also said they were given one mask a week to wear to protect themselves, and had to bring in their own gloves when they were required to carry and use large amounts of toxic cleaning products. Working with MassCOSH and our allies at Justice at Work, the workers were better able to understand their rights on the job and how to document workplace injuries, violations of their rights, and stolen wages.  

We are happy to report that these housekeepers are no longer forced to work off the clock and have been given partial compensation for prior unpaid lunches. The progress made so far has inspired the workers to seek further workplace improvements regarding COVID-19 safety measures and their right not to be retaliated against when organizing together for safer work.