Sunday, December 17, 2006

Interfaith Council Hosts Hearing on Hotel Workers - January 17, 2007

Note: The following message is from Rev. Carol Been of the Interfaith Council. Many of the 14,500 pledges gathered were from parishes in our Diocese! Congratulations to the many parishes who participated and to Fr. Bill Leininger who organized the Catholic response.

Dear friends and colleagues,

You have been part of an amazing groundswell of support for hotel workers. In the fall we gathered 14,500 pledges supporting dignity and justice for these workers and in November presented the cards and broke bread with management on the first day of negotiations at the Double Tree Hotel. It was inspirational to see workers who often feel isolated and alone experience the support of the religious community and to see management pray with us that the decisions made would sustain life.

As we become more aware of the working conditions in this industry it is the hotel housekeeper’s stories that are the most heartbreaking. Women, because of workloads that are impossible to bear, are living in pain morning, noon and night. One housekeeper, Lupe, recently fell as she was rushing to finish a far too heavy workload in far too short a time. She broke her knee. The hotel assigned a doctor to see her, he proclaimed her well enough to work if she stayed off her feet. A tactic often used to try and avoid a workmen’s comp case. In pain and on drugs, Lupe was forced to work or lose her job and the chance to see a doctor of her own choosing after a month. Unfortunately this is not an isolated story. In San Jose, whether you work in a union or non-union job, the workloads are too high and the injuries are too plentiful.

On Wednesday, January 17 4:30 – 6:30 PM the Interfaith Council is hosting a public hearing with worker testimonies and experts in work safety in order to raise awareness and begin to put pressure on the downtown hotel corporations to respond to the cry for justice from these women to lower their work quota.

Before we hear testimony, we will gather in Cesar Chavez Park for a short program and procession and then hold the hearing at 240 S. Market Street (directly across from the park).

Please RSVP if you can attend (clergy will process, wear clergy garb!) and announce this in your services.

Your presence will help make this an amazing event and it will be one more step toward saving the bodies and improving the lives of women whose careers are to serve our comfort.

May your light shine bright this holiday season!

Rev. Carol Been
The Interfaith Council
408-269-7872 x 577
408-266-2653 fax


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