PNS Daily Newscast - August 20, 2019. 

A move for so-called ‘common-sense’ gun laws heads to the states. Plus, will Trump judges decide a decade of civil rights? (Broadcaster Note: Our 6-min. newscast now has an optional outcue at 3 minutes: “This is PNS.”)

Daily Newscasts

AZ Hotel Workers Speak Out Against Guest Misconduct

June 3, 2011

PHOENIX – Hotel housekeepers in Arizona and across North America say it's time to break the silence about what they claim is often routine sexual misconduct faced in their jobs. The campaign comes in the wake of two high-profile alleged sexual assaults on housekeepers in New York City.

Organizer Rachel Sulkes with the hotel workers union UNITE HERE says the offending guests will typically claim they didn't hear a housekeeper's knock.

"They'll go into the room and the guest will actually be in the room – often essentially undressed, naked – exposing themselves. One person who made a room service delivery just last week, a guest pressed himself up against her."

Sulkes says hotels need to improve worker security in general, and do more to encourage staff to report sexual harassment by guests. She notes the potential for incidents of sexual misconduct is far higher during the night shift, when there are fewer hotel staff around.

"One of our proposals is that we not send a woman alone to a room at night – that they work in pairs or in teams, that they have somebody else on the floor with them so that, if something should happen, they have some backup."

She would also like to see hotels do away with traditional skirt-style uniforms for women, adopting a pants-and-tunic style instead.

Some housekeepers are reluctant to report misbehaving guests, according to Sulkes, because of the prevailing hotel industry attitude that 'the customer is always right.' Other workers, she says, don't want to be seen as troublemakers.

"In Arizona, where we have a significant immigrant population, and in particular in this job of housekeeping, there's just a real reluctance to bring more attention to yourself. And so, many just prefer to not speak up."

Sulkes says the problem is not confined to one state or one hotel chain, but is pervasive throughout the industry.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ