Sep 1 2021
A union is launching a new booking platform allowing tourists choosing a hotel in Spain to see the working conditions of cleaning staff there.
Las Kellys, the formidable union of Spanish maids, is considering creating its own booking app, after unsuccessful attempts to convince Tripadvisor to post details of working conditions alongside hotel ratings.
The band – whose name is a play weary that limpian, which translates to ‘those who clean up’ – first appeared in social media groups in 2014, eventually forming an association two years later.
They have since challenged and embarrassed hotels over their employment practices and gained increasing political clout, managing to get the ear of former Tory Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy before finally launching a campaign in 2018 to urge booking sites and hotels to use their “fair job”. and quality label ”.
As an extension of this campaign, Las Kellys launched a crowdfunding effort in July to create its own reservation platform promoting hotels awarded this quality label. They have already exceeded their minimum goal of € 60,000 and are just over € 5,000 from their optimal goal of € 90,000.
They aim to launch their new “reservation center” in 2022.
With the new platform, Las Kellys hopes “to usher in a new era of tourism based on respect, beauty and well-being, which places human interests before commercial interests across the planet”, according to their crowdfunding page.
“We will show that putting human interests before commercial interests pays off, it generates wealth, happiness, peace, trust and love in people,” the campaign says.
Hotel cleaners with full-time contracts were previously paid € 1,200 per month as a result of a sectoral agreement, and also received sickness and maternity benefits.
But labor market reforms carried out by the Spanish government in 2012 allowed hotels – many of which later laid off their cleaning staff – to outsource cleaning work to agencies.
Agency salaries are around 40% lower, Las Kellys has already noted. Meanwhile, quotas often requiring staff to clean around 20 to 30 rooms per six-hour shift can mean they end up working several hours for free each day in order to avoid being made redundant, further reducing their time. salary, sometimes would have up to € 1.25 per room cleaned, before taxes and other deductions.
“Without clean rooms, a hotel has no product. But we are invisible, even if we make up 30% of the staff of a hotel, ”the head of the Madrid branch of Las Kellys, Angeles Munoz, told the BBC in 2017.
The union hopes that, “since hotels depend on reservations for their business”, their new reservation platform will give them “the advantage to impose decent working conditions”.
To qualify for the Las Kellys seal of quality, hotels must allow union members to inspect their hotels, comply with tourism industry regulations, do not outsource or subcontract their company’s “main work”, offer equal pay for men and women, hire people who are part of vulnerable groups and have measures in place to promote stable and quality work.
The group has also long campaigned for a “Kellys law” banning the outsourcing of cleaning services.