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Kensington Close Hotel...."Here we go again"...Our Housekeepers opinion will abolish sickness and punish sick leave.

BACKGROUND...January 2009

On January 18th 2009 story we told of the anonymous letter, sent to the Home Office saying ten Romanian nationals were working with false papers.

Colas Hotels used an agency who employed a Romanian national with a Danish passport as head house-keeper. Most of the Romanian room attendants were working with Portuguese papers. This perhaps explains why the head house-keeper was perfectly happy to have "Portuguese citizens" working for her who only spoke Romanian.

Kevin's Blog

Now and then we hear complaints from some of our members that it is too difficult to organise in the hotel sector in London. Every now and then we should remind them that in comparison to some of our Sisters and Brothers in other countries we have it easy. I visited a hotel today which is at the centre of an organising battle being fought by FSPM, our sister union, in Indonesia. The management not only introduced a union busting strategy but brought trumped up criminal charges against some of our activists which resulted them being sentenced to 4 months in jail.

Kevin's Blog

Last night I went to a very special cafe in Bandung. The cafe is called BJ’s but it is better known to its patrons as the ”Solidarity Cafe” and the story behind it should be an inspiration to us all.
16 months ago the workers at the Hotel Aquila joined the FSPM and demanded to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement to improve terms and conditions.
The hotel responded by sacking all the 136 union members.

Kevin's Blog

The stories I keep hearing from workers here in Indonesia are very familiar to me. I've met 6 union chairmen (a union chairman fulfills the same role as a shop steward) and they told me about their struggles to build the union in their hotels. At one 5 star the chairman got sacked and the union mounted noisy demonstrations outside the hotel and forced the international management to meet with them which resulted in reinstatement and a negotiated collective bargaining agreement. As always in struggle there are defeats as well as victories.

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