Nuris Deras Merlos, a 36-year-old housekeeper at the Hilton Seattle, had only been with the company for a few months when she was put on leave following the pandemic last year. Her husband, who paints houses, also saw his business dwindle as the coronavirus circulated.
"Last year was difficult because I ' 've had panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and landed in the emergency room twice, ”she said. in an interview in Spanish in July.
Now she's back to work on call, working one or two days a week or, a few weeks, no all. The work that was once divided between several housekeepers now falls solely on her, she said. "I had to do it myself because they said they were understaffed," she said, "but pWhy don't they call us if they are understaffed? Why aren't we working? "
Ms. Ryan, spokesperson for Hilton, said staffing levels are " assessed by hotel hotel and are informed by market demand, local business environments, as well as government and health authority recommendations. "Hilton Seattle did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Julie Gabot, a 62-year-old housekeeper in Hawaii, said her job has become more exhausting than it was in the past. She worked at Sheraton Waikiki for almost 30 years, and his seniority secured him a job when the hotel began to take over employees.
rooms that once took its 45 minutes to an hour to clean now take twice as long.These, which are more common now than before the pandemic, mean that "during the start time it's more difficult," Gabot said. Objects that would have been cleaned during daily cleanings, such as pads, diapers or sand collected from beach trips, accumulate.
“There's a lot of stuff to do, and then now we're disinfecting everything,” Ms. Gabot said. “It's taking time now. "
Ms. Gabot sees the elimination of daily housekeeping as a cost saving measure that will have the most negative impact on workers, especially those with less seniority than her, and has qualified the move of "greedy".
Some hotel owners have said the staff shortage was a result of extended unemployment benefits creating a deterrent for people to return son the job market.
But Mr. Diaz, the Las Vegas hotel worker, said don't be further away from the truth. In his case, he was making $ 500 less a week from unemployment than from his job, which was largely based on tips.
The salary median of housekeepers in the United States is $ 12.61 an hour, but Ted Waechter, a porter Word from Unite Here, the union, said that the wages of many unionized housekeepers are "far higher", up to at least $ 27 an hour. He said many earn hundreds of dollars less a month with unemployment than if they worked.
"We relatively want these jobs," said said Mr. Diaz. . Image Some hotel owners have said that the increase in unemployment benefits has deterred workers from returning, but Ms Merlos says that she is eager to work more hours. Credit ... Ruth Fremson / The Hfrance.fr
And unionized jobs also come with benefits that could 'take extended unemployment benefits. "For us, having and relying on health insurance is very important," Ms. Merlos said. Recalling her panic attacks last year, she said: "Imagine how much I would have had to pay the hospital when I got sick at the start of the pandemic " without it.
Ms. Merlos is currently covered by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which extends the insurance provided by the employer for a limited period. This coverage expires in September, after which she said she should probably look for another job, as the few hours she is given at work does not qualify her for employer-sponsored health insurance.
Ms. Merlos said that, for immigrants, there is also a fear associated with government assistance for an extended period of time due to former President Trump's "public charge" policy, which allowed officials to turn down government assistance. permanent residence to people if they took up or were deemed likely to use public benefits. ( Biden administration said in March it would stopto implement the regulations.) "What we wanted was to have a job with the same benefits ", Ms. Merlos said.
Mr. Anderson, of the Cornell University School of Hotel Management, said as business and convention travel picks up, the work situation will stabilize as well.
"We will see some recovery of these jobs because now all of these rooms need to be cleaned as you move from guest to guest", a- he said, adding that business trips tend to be shorter and more frequent. "I think right now it's the worst-case scenario just because people tend to have longer stays.
Cindy Estis Green, CEO of Kalibri Labs, an analytical laboratory specializing in the hospitality industry, said that the length of stays avait increased by around 15% among individual travelers in 2020. Airbnb said long-term bookings of 28 days or more almost doubled in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2019, from 14% to 24% of bookings. .
Mr. . Diaz, who returned to work in early July, said that even though he was rehired at the same rate, the loss of his seniority was a big blow.
" We did what we were told to do. We stayed at home, "he said, but" we received no help with our jobs.
Last year Mr Diaz was forced to sell his house to cut costs while relying on unemployment benefits.
"It took me almost 15 years to get to the position I was in and now it's gone, " he said. "Everyone is starting from zero.
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