Published: 23/09/2014

A strategic meeting to advance the initiative took place in the Asia/Pacific region in Penang on September 12-13, with 47 participants from 13 unions including a number of housekeeper members. The meeting addressed specific health and safety issues linked to workloads, working conditions, employment status and gender.

The main conclusions were proposals to restore staffing levels to ensure housekeepers do not work alone and share the workload; recommended room quotas combined with adequate staffing; regular paid breaks; replacement of unsafe chemical products with safer ones; uniforms designed for health and safety including, where alternative products are not in place, adequate personal protective equipment for the safe use of chemicals; and direct, permanent employment as a necessary condition to ensure the rights of housekeepers are respected.

A number of issues concerning discrimination were also addressed. Communication strategies for these issues were developed along with campaign planning for each country based on different stages in the implementation of the initiative.