|Issue No 122||07 December 2001|
Hotel Cleaners Told: Bring Your Own Mops
By Andrew Casey
When a Sydney company won a tender at the Blacktown Travelodge to run a contracted-out operation to clean guests' rooms it took more than ten months before the workers were supplied with mops.
" We were cleaning floors with our feet, wiping rags over the floors. Our feet are not made for working like mops," Nicole Scott, this morning, warned more than 30 room attendants and cleaners on strike at the North Sydney Harbour View Hotel.
Hotel room attendants at the North Sydney Harbour View Hotel, held their second consecutive day stoppage today and were warned at the noisy rally of the consequences of having their jobs contracted out.
The hotel has indicated it is negotiating with Australasian Housekeeping Systems (AHS) to run a cleaning contract, and take off their hands their directly employed workforce.
Nicole Scott, who is currently taking legal action against AHS alleging permanent damage to her knees and feet arising from her work, left the job on workers comp and had to have a number of operations.
" I will go anywhere, talk to any workers, to warn them about AHS. They wouldn't pay overtime; and asked us to work the extra hours for zip. They were tardy in providing the right equipment. It was hell," Nicole told the workers.
" As a result of my injuries I have suffered pain, lost money and lost precious time with my young family because I am unable to get down and play with my children." After leaving AHS Nicole tried other cleaning jobs at schools but found she had to quit because of her injuries.
North Sydney Harbour View hotel strike
The workers at the North Sydney Harbour View Hotel are angry at the Hotel's plan to outsource all 26 housekeeping jobs. If the company does not back down from its plans the LHMU members are threatening to increase their industrial action next week.
The North Sydney Harbour View Hotel ( formerly Centra) is an 3.5 star boutique style hotel, with spectacular views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, servicing the business community of the North Sydney CBD.
The Harbour View Hotel workers were bouyed by the win earlier this week at The Crest Hotel, in Kings Cross.
The Crest Hotel management abandoned the tender after LHMU Hotel Union members mounted pickets and protests at their Darlinghurst Rd establishment. Click here to read about the Hotel Union's win at the Crest Hotel .
Gilberto Rodas, the LHMU delegate at the North Sydney Harbour View Hotel, said members were crying along with Nicole when she told of the pain of not being able to play with her children.
" Our housekeepers, who are mainly South Pacific and East Asian migrant women, are solid. They don't want to go through what Nicole has gone through," Gilberto Rodas said.
Gilberto and his work mates handed out leaflets to the guests apologising for any inconvenience during the picket.
The leaflets explained that at the moment they are expected to clean 16 rooms per day and they fear that increased injuries could result from any higher rate of room cleaning.
" We are scared of being injured, and also that your rooms will not be cleaned to the standard you are used to," Gilberto told guests.
Annie Owens, LHMU NSW Hotel Union Secretary, said the members are excited by the support they are receiving from other hotel workers - and workers in other industries.
The LHMU Hotel Union members at North Sydney were surprised by a visit to their picket of construction workers from across the road who wanted to show their solidarity.
The CFMEU and the AMWU union delegates at the 77 Pacific Highway, North Sydney construction site have resolved to fly two LHMU banners at their site until the dispute with the Harbour View Hotel is won.
" Contracting out threatens the job security not just of these hotel workers, but all workers. Your dispute is our dispute," one of the 77 Pacific Highway construction site's union delegates said.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005