Housekeepers at Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort threaten walkout

The housekeeping staff of the Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort threatened to walk out Tuesday if three supervisors were not fired.

Grievances were addressed in a 4 1/2-hour meeting with management and a short-term compromise was reached.

According to translator Frankie Mayfield, resort management will investigate possible inappropriate actions of the three supervisors. House staff then agreed to postpone any formal complaint or walkout until July 17.

"They (management) said it wouldn't be fair to fire them (the supervisors) without investigating further," Mayfield said.

Both management and housekeeping employees declined comment until an agreement is reached.

Housekeeping supervisors Linda Blades, Patricia Cabrera and Cristina Cabrera are said to be the alleged cause of increased work distress to about 20 housekeeping staff who clean the rooms. Coupled with claims of emotional abuse, the increased workload culminated into the possible walkout.

"It's not a question of money but a question of work conditions," Mayfield said. "These conditions are cutting into their livelihood and making it an intolerable working environment."

Mayfield added that upper management did not say they did not know about the grievances, just that they didn't know how severe the complaints had gotten.

The conditions the housekeeping staff raised is that beginning in March the number of rooms they were required to clean increased twofold and in less time. Instead of working 80 hours per two weeks and cleaning seven rooms a day, staff was expected to clean 12 rooms a day in 60 hours or less. In addition, most staff worked on rooms in teams, but are now required to clean each room individually.

Since Sunterra Resorts manages the Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort property, Mayfield said working conditions changed when the time-share company began to have financial difficulties.

"They say they have budgetary considerations so they need to control overtime and cut hours and days," Mayfield said. "But any maid that fails to meet the cleaning standard for each room is written up. There are people who have been here 10 years and have never gotten written up until now. There are a lot of hotels looking for housekeeping staff right now, so it wouldn't be a problem for them to find new jobs."


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