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Sexual harassment ?!?!?

Posted by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 5:57 PM
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Here is one story about Sexual Haraseement.. although there are many this one is quite new and it deals with Hotel maids. They are even considering them carrying a panic button.

Have you ever known or been a victim yourself of Sexual Harassement and reported it.. or not?

A labor group wants the hotel industry in Arizona to take steps to protect housekeepers from sexual harassment and affronts by guests after maids at two different hotels in New York were attacked in the past three weeks.

Among the changes the labor group would like to see: outfitting housekeepers in pants instead of dresses, requiring housekeepers to work in pairs for turndown service instead of alone and adding more security for night shifts.

"This is an issue that goes on in our hotels on a daily basis," said Betty Guardado, organizing director for Unite Here Local 631, a labor union that represents about 400 housekeepers in the Phoenix area. "We are trying to get the companies to start looking at this as an issue, not as something they can just push off to the side as they have for many, many years."

The labor union launched an international campaign on Thursday calling for measures aimed at protecting housekeepers and other hotel workers from sexual affronts. The union held events in 10 cities in the United States and Canada, including Phoenix. At an event on Thursday, several housekeepers and hotel workers told stories of recent sexual affronts they have experienced on the job in the Phoenix area.

Joe McInerney, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said hotel companies were already responding.

"All of the hotel companies are reviewing their policies and procedures," he said. "The safety and security of our staff and our employees is our number one priority and it always has been. The last thing we want to see is any one of our employees being harassed or hurt by a guest or another employee."

Two lodging facilities in New York City, the Pierre Hotel and the Sofitel Hotel, have told labor officials they will issue wireless panic buttons to maids after housekeepers reported they had been attacked.

In addition, two hotels in Washington, D.C., have also announced plans to issue panic buttons to housekeepers.

Ann Lane, director of public relations at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, said hotel maids were given training in self-defense following the first attack in New York.

The hotel also held meetings prior to housekeeping shifts to go over safety standards, including leaving room doors open during cleaning and blocking doors with cleaning carts to provide a "line of defense," Lane said.

On May 14, a maid at the Sofitel told police that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a major political leader in France and at the time the leader of the International Monetary Fund, tried to sexually assault her inside his suite.

In the second instance, a hotel maid at the Pierre Hotel told her supervisor that she had been attacked Sunday evening by Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, a businessman and former chairman of a major Egyptian bank. Both men have denied the charges.

Hotel maids and some other hotel workers face sexual harassment and affronts regularly, according to labor groups and hotel workers. Most maids are women, and they usually work alone when they are in guest rooms and are out of view of security cameras. The majority of maids are immigrants, and many often don't speak English well, which makes them more vulnerable, labor groups said.

Tourism is a major industry in Arizona, with 41,200 hotel maids and housekeepers working in the state, according to a Migration Policy Institute analysis of American Community Survey census data from 2007-2009.

Of those, nearly 60 percent were immigrants. Nationwide, 43 percent of the nearly 2 million hotel maids and housekeepers are immigrants, according to the analysis.

Julia Ochoa, 50, an immigrant from Mexico, has been working as a maid at hotels in the Phoenix area for 12 years. She described several sexual affronts by guests. She said two weeks ago she knocked on the door of a guest and offered to clean his room. The man who answered the door seemed intoxicated. He declined to have his room cleaned but asked if she could give him "a towel and a hug."

She said she told the guest "I cannot give you that kind of service" and left. She said she reported the incident to a supervisor who warned the guest that his comment was out of line. The guest apologized.

Claudia Bautista, 24, who works for room service at a hotel in Phoenix, said guests frequently answer the door in their underwear or naked.

She recalled a recent incident that made her feel "very uncomfortable."

While she was delivering breakfast to a room around 6 a.m., the guest answered the door wearing only a towel and a T-shirt. The next day, he answered the door only wearing a towel. When she entered the room to place the tray of food on the table, the man came up behind her.

"He got really close to me," Bautista said. "He was invading my personal space".

Bautista said she loved her job, but putting up with sexual affronts shouldn't be part of it.

"I shouldn't have to choose between doing my job and feeling safe," she said.



by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 5:57 PM
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MarshaLynn04
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I haven't.  but I would report it

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