"Honey," I told her. "The law doesn't even give you that much." And the next half-hour was taken up with a little American history lesson about the "folks that brought you the weekend."
Well, thanks to Governor Rod Blagojevich, the state legislature, and UNITE-HERE, hotel attendants in Illinois have finally entered the 20th century with not one, but two paid 15-minute rest breaks per day. Last week, Blagoyevich signed the "Humane Treatment of Hotel Room Attendants Act."
Thousands of women who clean hotel rooms will benefit from a new law passed by the Illinois General Assembly this spring.Blagoyevich is getting a name as workers' best friend. Less than two weeks ago he signed a series of bills aimed at addressing the nursing shortage partly by making nurses jobs safer, including bills protecting nurses from workplace violence and eliminating mandatory overtime.
The law requires hotels to give two, paid 15-minute rest breaks per day. Room attendants - overwhelmingly female - have been struggling with increased workloads as hotels upgrade their bedding and amenities.
The signing ceremony [featured] room attendants representing their co-workers, who come from Chicago and all over the globe - Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa - to provide for their families.