NYC hotel maids to receive panic buttons

Hotel News - 09/02/2012

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The move comes as one of the contract details discussed on Tuesday between local hoteliers and labour unions; the terms are expected to gain approval in the first half of next week.

Housekeepers and labour unions in the New York area have worked to revamp certain working conditions in the wake of alleged sexual assault allegations made by a Sofitel hotel maid against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn last year. The efforts come despite charges being dropped against the Frenchman last summer as a result of doubts about the accuser’s credibility.

Following the arrest of Strauss-Kahn, all workers at the high-end Sofitel had been provided with panic buttons, and the nearby luxury Pierre hotel followed suit shortly thereafter. Now, the union contract will mean that housekeepers working at any of the city’s major hotels will be given the devices.

New York Hotel Trades Council spokesman John Turchiano said that it was unfortunate that there are some cases in which guests behave inappropriately. He said the emergency buttons would provide an effective way to cut down on such instances and give employees some degree of protection.

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