Chambermaids in Spain are organising themselves in a bid to combat declining work conditions and exploitation in the tourism industry.
A call for booking websites to join the fight
Hotels offering decent wages and conditions would be given an official seal of approval by the organisation.
A Guardian article asked TripAdvisor to comment, but did not receive a response.
As a result, Spanish chambermaids have seen their wages cut dramatically, with hotels outsourcing cleaning services instead of directly employing cleaning staff.
Ángela Muñoz, spokesperson for Las Kellys, said [Spanish] they “have to work without gloves” for up to ten hours a day “without time to eat”. They also have to clean “up to 28 rooms per shift” and, if they complain, they are told that “there are 14 others waiting to take our place”. They get roughly €2.30 per room.
How to help
Responding to the Guardian article on the subject, Twitter users pointed out both their appreciation for Las Kellys and ways to help:
That’s why I always leave a tip. When a room costs, say, £80-100 a night – the least you can do is leave a fiver or equivalent. And campaign for unionisation. Without that, here and in Spain, they will continue to be abused. Good idea. Ethics applies down the supply chain.
— eoireitum (@eoireitum) July 2, 2018
We are so impressed by the drive and determination of these women. Las Kellys (from 'las que limpian', 'those who clean') are taking their fight for fair wages for hotel cleaners to the industry and beyond. #sipodemos #responsibletourism #laskellys 💪https://t.co/BK7Uy2XFSE
— EqualityInTourism (@EqualityTourism) July 2, 2018
Thank you!One way to collaborate with us is to ask @tripadvisor to warn about the hotels respecting upon the worker's rights,so that anyone gets a warrant before they are allowed to search any room.The Kellys wish to give visibility to those #hotels meeting such labour conditions
— Las Kellys Barcelona (@LasKellysBCN) July 3, 2018
The conditions that chambermaids face is taking a serious toll on their health, according to the Guardian. Many of them reportedly suffer from chronic back pain and arthritis, having to depend on painkillers to get them through shifts.
Often, those employed in the hotel cleaning trade are female [pdf] and from vulnerable social groups such as single mothers and immigrants, making them less likely to complain about poor working conditions.
Taking their fight to booking websites and encouraging hotel users to rate hotels based on how cleaning staff are treated may very well lead the activists to success.
– Name and shame hotels that do not pay cleaners fairly on TripAdvisor.
– Read more about Las Kellys here.
Images via YouTube