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Today: Staff Strike Wyndham Boston Hotel Over Hazardous Working Conditions

STRIKE TODAY

Staff Strike Wyndham Boston Hotel Over Hazardous Working Conditions

Workers plan to attend and testify at investigative City Council hearing tonight

 BOSTON, MA—Employees of the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill Hotel at 5 Blossom Street announced a one-day strike this morning effective 7am.

Workers at the hotel said they were not given adequate supplies or protective equipment to handle potentially infectious materials, including medical waste. The hotel advertises to area hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, which maintains an 8-bed sleep study at the hotel. MGH patients stay in the hotel while receiving treatment at the hospital.

Workers filed a complaint to OSHA in May, causing the agency to open an inspection that is ongoing.

Striking workers plan to attend and testify at a Boston City Council hearing tonight to share disturbing details of continued failure by hotel management to sufficiently protect staff while cleaning body fluids and materials that can cause transmission of disease.

“I am striking today because my employer has put me in danger,” said housekeeper Aura Berciano-Reyes. “I don’t want to risk my child becoming ill because I am not protected at work.”

Striking hotel workers will be available for interview today and will testify at the City Council hearing at 5pm at City Hall.

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For Immediate Release: June 25, 2015                                         

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807, tteneyck@local26.org

 

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Boston Hotel Workers, Experts to Testify at City Council Hearing on Hotel Safety

Stronger protections are needed, especially at hotels that cater to hospital patients

BOSTON, MA—Boston City Council will hold a hearing Thursday to investigate possible health risks faced by hotel workers who clean for hospital patients.

The hearing was called after workers at the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill Hotel at 5 Blossom Street said they were not adequately protected to clean potentially infectious materials such as blood, vomit, feces, and needles or syringes.

The hotel advertises to area hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, which maintains an 8-bed sleep study at the hotel. MGH patients stay at the hotel while receiving treatment at the hospital.

OSHA began an inspection of the hotel in May in response to worker complaint.

Experts will assess possible risks for transmission of disease and compare cleaning protocols between hospitals and hotels. Workers from other area hotels will testify how they are protected when they clean hazardous materials or clean for hospital patients.

“Boston’s world-class hospitals depend on clean, safe hotels,” said hotel workers union President Brian Lang. “Boston officials are taking needed steps to improve the safety and sustainability of our top industries.”

What: Boston City Council hearing on hotel safety, nurses and occupational health experts to testify on risk of exposure at Boston hotels

When: Thursday June 25, 5:00pm

Where: City Council Chamber, City Hall

Who: 300 Boston hotel housekeepers; nurses, occupational health and safety experts to testify.

Visuals: Hotel housekeepers in uniform, crowd in matching white shirts and signs that read “BOSTON SAFE HOTELS,” hotel housekeeper to dress in personal protective equipment to provide a visual example of needed safeguards

Background: wyndhamexposed.org, bostonsafehotels.org

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For Immediate Release: June 24, 2015

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807, tteneyck@local26.org

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Hospital or Hotel, OSHA Standard on Infectious Materials Applies

Hospitals have different protocols—or none at all—when it comes to discharging patients to hotels. But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s bloodborne pathogens standard applies to all.

The Wyndham Beacon Hill hotel uses its proximity to Massachusetts General Hospital as a marketing tool. The hotel website includes a hospitals page featuring a blonde model in a white coat with a stethoscope around her neck. The hotel offers a link to each of the city’s hospitals, discounted rates for patient families, and access to a shuttle bus.