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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #242 - Hotel: Class Struggle in palaces (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 21 Sep 2014 11:05:11 +0300

The operation of the hotel staff, mostly immigrant women, is intense, and outsourcing, common, making it difficult to collective struggles. Yet for more than dix years maids led many battles, often victorious. ---- Many obstacles remain to achieving real equality between women and men, and between people of different backgrounds. Many women (especially immigrants) are indeed relegated to informal forms of work not declared or partially, with part-time contracts imposed. They work in sectors where unionization is difficult or non-existent. All this has worsened in recent years due to rapid spread of outsourcing and service jobs in private - at the expense, for example, public sector jobs. We salute the courage of certain groups of women employees in the hospitality industry who have taken the plunge to organize and fight to get in to make things happen.

Broken Promises

In March 2002, thirty maids African society Arcade began a long strike in four Parisian hotels of the Accor group. The strike was to last almost a year. Accor (first French hotel group) had begun in the 1990s to outsource massive work cleaning hotel rooms. Women Arcade room had part-time contracts of twenty-five hours a week, but they were paid according to the number of rooms cleaned. This number varied every day, every week and every month. They were cleaning the rooms at a rate of three to four in an hour, but they took longer, and many hours did they were not paid.

The direction of the Accor group would eventually accept at the end of the conflict, to sign a charter in which it undertook to ensure the improvement of working conditions for employee-es its subcontractors, and it affirmed its intention to internalize partially clean rooms. These promises have not been kept, and very harsh repression was exercised against the principal steward of Southeast Cleaning which was responsible for ensuring compliance with the agreements. Since then, for ten years, conflict against outsourcing have continued to succeed in the Accor group, as in others: at Louvre Hotels (second French hotel group) or the group Hyatt (American company). The essential claims that have emerged are the payment based on the number of hours actually worked, and the integration with the customer orders - or at least the application of the same status to employee-es donor orders and employee-es subcontractors. That means most often: payment of a thirteenth month of seniority bonuses, bonuses for feeding, dressing, participation ... The employee-es-es struggle were supported by the CGT union Hotels prestige and economic and CNT-cleaning.

Breakdown of work collectives

Outsourcing household rooms is not justified, insofar as this activity is the "heart of the trade" in the hotel industry, subcontractors usually bring any special expertise. It has no other purpose than to over-exploit and harm the employee-es, which are often paid 30% less compared to employee-es the prime contractor of the same professional level, with part-time hours very irregular. The systematic payment based on the number of rooms cleaned in outsourcing, resulting in a massive deterioration of working conditions for employee-es and concealed work. The outsourcing room cleaning policy currently widespread in many hotels, including luxury hotels, and this promotes an explosion of work collectives and regression of social rights for all employee-es. These movements will therefore continue, and began to spread in the province. The Act of 20 August 2008 on the representativeness of trade union organizations allows employee-es subcontractors choose to vote in union elections with employee-es the prime contractor, which could improve the most militant unions.

Pay and professional equality should not be a tie down. We must encourage all the measures to restore the unity of the working class. We must show our solidarity with all groups of women victims of discrimination, and who decide to fight. Odile (National Collaborative for Women's Rights)

Odile (National Collective for the Rights of Women)


Recently, the maids of several subcontractors have achieved victories.

1) Thirty-five maids, nannies and team members of the company Elior, who worked at the Novotel Châtelet-Les Halles went on strike thirty-four days in October and November 2011, they obtained the passage of permanent and contract staff for nine of them, and increases in the hourly volume of certain contracts. Eighteen of them kept records of complaint to tribunal for illegal subcontracting and concealed work. The directions of the Novotel and company Elior have recently been sentenced to pay 400 000 euros back pay and damages to these employees. The director of the Novotel had to leave.

2) Fifteen maids and governesses of society Deca France working at Campanile and Première class Suresnes bridge made four-week strike in March and April 2012, with a third of employee-es hotels. They got stopped payment on the house and the payment based on the number of hours actually worked, with the installation of a time clock, and a revaluation of their contracts to 120 or 130 hours (instead of 60 to 108 hours). They finally got their integration into the staff of the Louvre Hotels Group with effect from 1 August 2013, which resulted in a gain of EUR 200 on their payroll.

3) Recently the Louvre Hotels Group has agreed to sign with the CGT and CFTC a social charter in which it undertakes to enforce labor laws among subcontractors, including payment based on the number of hours to work with the installation of clocks and requiring subcontractors to provide records of hours worked by each employee. Louvre Hotels Group has also committed to integrating the end of 2015 one hundred employee-es of subcontracting work in five Campanile, Kyriad and First Class.

4) Sixty maids, nannies and crew of the French service went on strike for six days in September 2013, at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme. They got the payment of a thirteenth month resets to 130 hours of hours of their contracts and seven passes full time and QUELA removing the mobility clause. June 6, 48 employee-es-es are past employment tribunals to demand back pay and damages for haggling. The subcontractor has been changed since January 2014.

5) Several other trials for illegal subcontracting, hiring out illegal work and undeclared work are underway or have been won: the Concorde Montparnasse, at the Sofitel Bercy ...
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