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Letter to the Editor: Abuse at DoubleTree

By Delmy Lemus

To the editor:

In response to The Crimson’s coverage of the Harvard-Owned DoubleTree Suites hotel: I have been a room attendant for five years at the Harvard-owned DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Boston. The past five years have been very difficult for me. I work the afternoon shift, I am responsible for cleaning rooms, doing laundry, delivering items to guests, cleaning the lobby and the pool, and anything else my managers ask me to do. I never have enough time to complete my assignments in the evening, so I am always rushing. When I rush, I hurt myself. In the last five years I have hurt my shoulder, injured disks in my spine, and broke my nose at work.

When my back was injured because when I was pregnant, my managers continued to assign me the same workload. I was nine months pregnant and still doing difficult heavy labor. This injured my spine, and I still have back pain two years later. When it came time for me to go on my maternity leave, my supervisors pushed me to keep working. I worked until three days before my daughter, Arianna, was born.

One night when we were very busy, I was running to finish all of my work and slipped and hit my nose on a wall. When I called my supervisors to tell them what happened, the first question they asked was, “How many rooms do you have left to clean?”

I leave work every night tired and stressed. The next day all I want to do is rest. I don’t have the same patience I would like to with my daughters and husband.

I am asking Harvard for the same thing they have given their other employees: the right to a fair process to decide on unionization. I want to be treated like a human being, not just a pair of hands and a back.

Delmy Lemus

Boston, Mass.

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