Westin’s “Green Choice” is Bad for the Environment, Bad for Workers
Green or Greed?
The Westin Bayshore Hotel recently instituted the “Make a Green Choice” program, encouraging guests to refuse housekeeping services by rewarding them with a $5 coupon for each day they refuse service.
Westin Bayshore says this is “green.” Westin Bayshore housekeepers say its “greed.”
Real Green or Fake Green?
“After 3 or 4 days of no service, we find mounds of dirty linens, towels, filthy bathrooms, garbage and spoiled food left behind in the rooms which require almost an hour to clean. But we have limited time. We end up using more chemicals, more water, more energy. We’re not saving anything at all for the environment.” –Noy Paguio, Room Attendant, Westin Bayshore
Dirtier rooms? More time needed to clean? More chemicals used? What’s green about that?
“Green Choice” is Bad for the Environment
“Green Choice” is misleading. Many hotel guests who are genuinely concerned about the environment would likely go to another hotel if they knew the truth about “Green Choice.”
“Green Choice” is unverifiable. When asked by The Province about “Green Choice” in July, the Westin Bayshore was unable to provide any data about the program’s energy savings at the Bayshore (“Vancouver hotel’s ‘Green’ program takes toll on housekeeping staff,” The Province, 7/4/10).
“Green Choice” Hurts Women
“A real green program helps the environment and doesn’t hurt people. Westin had a program so guests could choose not to have linens and towels changed. This program saved more water and energy than “Green Choice” and didn’t hurt us.” —Pamela Moroni, Room Attendant, Westin Bayshore
The more guests use the “Green Choice” coupon on a given day, the more housekeepers are cut from that day’s work schedule. For every 15 “Green Choice” cards used by guests, one room attendant is told not to report to work–even though she was already on the schedule.
Dirtier rooms left by guests who refuse housekeeping services, create heavier workloads for housekeepers. And as housekeepers lose control of their schedules, physical and economic stress increases.
Westin Makes a Mockery of Green Initiatives
Westin Bayshore is using the “green” label to cut jobs, hurting immigrant working women who comprise the overwhelming majority of hotel housekeepers in Vancouver. At the same time, Westin is misleading guests about the benefits of “Green Choice.” Its time to stop the nonsense.