Huff Post Article ‘In California, A Labor Fight Over Hotel Bedsheets’

We have not seen much press on this California proposal for Hotel Housekeeping Safety.  The Huffington Post published an article the other day telling the story of a 69-year-old room attendant who recently testified in Sacramento in favor of a bill that would force hotels to get rid of flatbed sheets in favor of fitted sheets.  The bill will also require hotels to supply long-handled tools for cleaning the bathrooms.  You can check out the bill here.  Some details from the Huffington Post article:

“When she isn’t sidelined by an injury, Nenita Ibe cleans 16 rooms a day at the Santa Clara hotel where she’s worked for 10 years. Since some rooms have two beds, that adds up to 25 mattresses per day, each of which needs to be lifted up on each side so that the 69-year-old Filipino immigrant can set the bedsheet properly. Luxury hotel mattresses can weigh more than 150 pounds these days. Ibe weighs a waiflike 125. The beds have taken a toll.”

“Eleazar Dumuk, who, like Ibe, works for Hyatt and is from the Philippines, testified that she and her colleagues used to have long-handled mops — but one day, they suddenly disappeared. “It’s probably just cheaper for the company to have my coworkers and me get on our knees,” she testified. “I came to this country not to work on my knees but to make a just, humane living.” A spokesperson for Hyatt did not respond to requests for comment.”

The article says it will cost California hotels about $15 million to switch from flat sheets to fitted sheets.  Fitted sheets are also harder to clean, store, and transport.  The article is definitely worth a read.  Also, be sure to check out the comments section.  There is a pretty lively discussion happening.