Housekeepers Are Protesting Marriott’s Green Energy Initiative

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Housekeepers are protesting Marriott International’s “Make a Green Choice” program, claiming the initiative is costing them money and forcing erratic work on their schedules.

Marriott and its hotel subsidiaries are offering customers a deal: Earn 500 bonus points for every day you refuse housekeeping services. Participating customers can refuse service for up to three consecutive days at a time, racking up a large amount of points in the process. The “Make a Green Choice” program is also being billed as an environmentally friendly initiative, with advertisements lauding the amount of water, electricity and chemicals that can be saved.

However, not everyone is happy.

Maids across the country are livid over the new program, claiming they are being harmed with reduced work hours and more stressful schedules as they now must clean rooms that haven’t been managed in several days. Unite Here — a union that represents many of the Marriott housekeepers — are organizing against the program. (RELATED: Experts Question Whether California Is Capable Of Transitioning To 100 Percent Green Energy)

“I love my job, but when guests are encouraged to deny housekeeping services, it hurts my hours, my pay, and my body. Rooms that haven’t been cleaned in days are dirty, and much harder to clean,” read an advertised statement from a housekeeper who has been negatively affected by the green initiative.

The leaflets are being given to guests staying at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, according to View From The Wing. Additionally, the leaflets claim the Green Choice program has resulted in 700,000 hours of lost work and 350 fewer full-time jobs. Unite Here has authorized a strike in San Francisco with more possibly on the way in Boston and other cities.

“[W]orkers are fighting for improved workplace safety, particularly around unsafe workloads and strenuous physical labor created by the so-called ‘Green Choice’ program, and pioneering job protections around technology and innovation in the hospitality industry,” read a statement from Unite Here.

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