Hotel customers are apparently looking for nicer amenities these days, and hotel chains are responding, with more pillows, fluffier mattresses, better comforters. The Hilton and Crowne Plaza hotel chains have recently updated their rooms, adding duvet covers, extra pillows and plush-top mattresses. Marriott will spend $190 million this year on beefed-up beds in 700,000 of its rooms.
But all that extra bedding is taking a toll on the maids who clean the hotel rooms. Injuries--particularly back injuries--are up, and maids are finding it harder and harder to clean a room in the same amount of time they used to.
A new law in Illinois, which took effect last week, ensures that maids in Chicago's Cook County will receive two 15-minute paid breaks a day. But this week, a judge has temporarily put the new rule on hold. Hoteliers want the law overturned; breaks hurt productivity and profit margin, they say.
In the meantime, maids are still lifting more and cleaning more in the same amount of time. I'm of the mind that hotel maids, like restaurant cooks, are people you shouldn't anger. They can retaliate in scary, scary ways.
Chicago Tribune: Hotels make beds cozier, but maid's day lot tougher