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Housekeepers Protest Working Conditions at Tempe Resort Hotel

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Housekeepers are protesting for the third time this year what they say are hazardous conditions at a Tempe resort hotel. Credit: KConnors/morguefile.com
Housekeepers are protesting for the third time this year what they say are hazardous conditions at a Tempe resort hotel. Credit: KConnors/morguefile.com
 By Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ - Producer, Contact
December 7, 2015

TEMPE, Ariz. – Housekeeping workers at a resort hotel in Tempe are holding a vigil in front of their employer's property to protest what they say are hazardous working conditions.

Members of the Unite Here hospitality workers' union began a 10-day protest this weekend over reports of numerous employee injuries and unsafe conditions at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.

Local 631 representative Maria Hernandez says while the action isn't a strike, the workers are trying to get hotel management to pay attention to their concerns.

"We've done all these things, and the company still is not caring,” she maintains. “The workers want to be taken seriously. So, a lot of these workers are just like, 'Well, we have to do something.'"

This isn't the first time Local 631 has protested on behalf of Mission Palms workers. In July, it held a 48-hour fast to air worker grievances, and in October, police arrested 11 people for blocking traffic during a protest in front of the hotel.

Hotel Manager Eric Sather told a Phoenix TV station in October that he doesn't believe dangerous working conditions exist at the hotel, but had made plans to meet with a group of workers to discuss their concerns.

Hernandez maintains that, so far, the hotel has not responded to the union’s concerns.

"The company, to this date and the owner, has not paid attention or has not decided to meet with any of the workers,” she states. “They haven't really tried to do anything to really fix the issue."

Hernandez says housekeeping workers often complain of back or shoulder injuries after a work shift.

She adds one concern is that while the hotel offers health insurance to its workers, most say they cannot afford the coverage.


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