Trouble in 4 star paradise for at least two of the world’s biggest hotel groups.
A recent Tourism Concern meeting about human rights and tourism spotlighted the practice of agency staff, particularly in big cities such as London, as a potential method of hotel groups denying fair employment practices to workers,
The hospitality industry is coming under fire and two recent examples are accusations against Hyatt and Accor.
One new website, Hyatt Hurts (operated by an organisation called Hotel Workers Rising and owned by an anonymously) proposes a global boycott of Hyatt saying: "Hyatt has singled itself out as the worst employer in the hotel industry. Hyatt has abused its housekeepers and other hotel workers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers and imposing dangerous workloads on those who remain."
"Now thousands of community supporters are joining Hyatt workers in a call to boycott Hyatt. By choosing to not eat, meet or sleep at Hyatt, you send a clear message to Hyatt that its abuse and exploitation of hotel workers will not be tolerated." They continue
The website gives: "Top Four Reasons to Boycott Hyatt" including abuse of workers
"The health and wellbeing of our associates is one of our top priorities. Our associates work hard and have the tools, resources and training they need to do a great job. For instance, our hotel teams regularly lead pre-shift stretching and consistently review proper techniques for completing tasks. In addition, our housekeeping staff can use a wide variety of equipment to make their jobs easier, including wedges and mops with various handle lengths. Many of our renovated rooms are easier to clean, with new and modern bathrooms and beds that are often lighter than the older beds. We employ occupational health nurses to assist in injury prevention and treatment. Worker training programs are robust and provided on an ongoing basis."
Another website, this one operated by the IUF - Food, Farm and Hotel Workers alleges that "Accor continues to attack basic rights of pro-union workers in Ontario, Canada"
"In the midst of an unprecedented, nearly month-long series of hearings at the Ontario Labour Board involving unfair labour practices at three Accor Novotel hotels in the province, Accor continues to wage war against the fundamental rights of those who staff their branded hotels."
"In the 2-2.5 years since-workers at the Novotel Mississauga, Novotel Ottawa and Novotel North York demonstrated strong majority support for union representation by signing union cards, Accor has disciplined, suspended and sacked workers for simply talking about the union on their breaks anywhere on company property."
Eric Buitenhuis, Vice President of Operations, Novotel Canada responds:
"We fully support our team members and respect their right to make their own free choices regarding labour union representation in the workplace. Our team members in two different hotels have had the opportunity to make their own free choices based on information from both the union and their management, and they have chosen to forgo unionization. Moreover, our team members have independently recognized Novotel Canada as one of Canada's Top 50 Best Employers for a third consecutive year in 2012. Regarding the union's allegations - we are confident that the Labour Board will recognize that the claims against Novotel are without merit and ultimately rule in our favor."
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