BOSTON, DEC. 4 -- Chambermaids who stood up for themselves will no longer have to get down on their hands and knees to scrub the marble floors of the Copley Plaza Hotel. They regained their mops.
"It was nice to see that they came to their senses," hotel workers union President Domenic Bozzotto said of the hotel's decision to scrap an order directing maids to clean the floors with hand rags.
"It was a dignity issue," Bozzotto said. "They wanted to move the clock back 30 years. It reeked of arrogance. It showed the attitude of the industry. They think the minority population that makes this business can be taken lightly."
The management of the luxury downtown hotel Thursday rescinded its month-old directive barring the maids from using anything but hand cloths while cleaning bathroom floors, in effect telling them to work on their hands and knees.
"They're tough," Bozzotto said of the 44 women who work as chambermaids. They work for $7.15 an hour at the 393-room hotel, where rooms cost $140 to $195 per night.
"When the only thing between you and the real world is a couple of supervisors, it's hard to stand up -- it takes a lot of courage," Bozzotto said. "Those women stood up."
The maids and their backers -- including about a dozen women's rights groups -- staged a victory rally at the hotel today.