Swimming, Biking and Running in support of hotel housekeepers

Stockholm:On the 3rd of July 2016 a team of three trade unions officials, Marie Birgersson from HRF in Sweden, Markku Björn from PAM in Finland, and Massimo Frattini from the IUF, with high athletic ambitions participated in the Stockholm World Triathlon as Team MMM.

Team MMM participated in the Olympic triathlon relay distance, where Markku swam 1500 meter, Marie biked 37,6 kilometers and Massimo ran 9,7 kilometers. The team MMM finished 20th out of 30 teams in their category. The Nordic Union of hotels, restaurants, catering and tourism workers is proud to have sponsored the Team MMM, by providing them with special t-shirts with the dignity for hotel housekeepers logo.


The objective of the race was to raise awareness about the ‪difficult‬ working conditions hotel housekeepers around the world are facing. Unfortunately, most hotel guests know very little about the nature of hotel cleaning and are not aware of how hard and dangerous housekeepers’ work can be.

Dignity for hotel housekeepers

In recent years, the safety of hotel housekeepers has become a global issue.  Hotel housekeepers are exposed to multiple hazards - repetitive strain and heavy lifting injuries, exposure to chemicals in cleaning products, sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse. The vast majority are women, often migrants and they have one of the highest rates of work-related injuries and illness of any occupational group. The work is often poorly-paid, frequently precarious, workloads are increasing and many employers strongly resist union organization.

Even though labor rights and standards might be better in the Nordic region than the rest of the world, most hotel housekeepers in the Nordic region complain about their workload. They claim that the pace of work is very intensive and they are always racing against the clock. Rushing to complete the work takes a toll on workers' bodies, in some cases leading to permanent disabilities and psychological distress. 

About the campaign

This autumn the IUF Global Week of Action campaign, make my workplace safe, will be run for the third time during the 31st of October and 5th of November. Hotel workers from all continents have taken part in this campaign. The campaign highlights the unacceptable working conditions of housekeeping staff and their determination to fight for a safe and secure working environment. 


NU HRCT and its member organization have actively participated in the IUF Global Week of Action, through a joint Nordic campaign which has been run under the name of #fairhousekeeping and #schystastädvillkor.  

Further information about the Nordic campaign: https://www.facebook.com/Fair-working-conditions-for-Nordic-hotel-housekeepers-884024738351201/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel


Nordisk Union
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The Nordic Union for Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Tourism sector, is an association of unions in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, all of which unionise workers of the HRCT industry. The member unions have all made collective agreements with employers organizations and companies in the NU HRCT.

All in all NU HRCT covers seven unions with a total of about 115,000 members.