Many hotel operators in New York City have agreed to a long-term contract that will give hotel housekeepers and other employees significant pay raises, fully paid health coverage, larger pension contributions and, in many cases, personal panic alarms.
The security devices would summon help if staff encounter danger in a guest room and also create an audit trail of the incident for help. Last year, a hotel housekeeper accused the French politician Dominique Strauss Kahn of sexually assaulting her in his suite at the Sofitel New York. Criminal charges, however, were dropped.
The provision in the proposed contract calls for the hotels to equip certain employees with devices to be carried on their persons at work that they can quickly and easily activate to effectively summon prompt assistance to their location, according to a report on the front page of the Feb. 8 New York Times. The devices, to be distributed within a year to housekeepers, room-service waiters and attendants who stock the minibars, may vary by hotel for technical reasons, but all will serve the basic purpose of calling for help. No estimate of the cost of the equipment was available on Tuesday.