COST ACCOUNTING-LO.1 (Ethics; writing) Hotel rooms have become more extravagant

| January 30, 2017

Question
17. LO.1 (Ethics; writing) Hotel rooms have become more extravagant over the past decade and the time needed to clean a room has increased. eHow says that housekeepers generally have to clean 15 to 20 rooms per day; occupied rooms should take about 15 minutes to complete, while a room cleaned at check-out should take no more than 30 minutes. A good housekeeper should be able to make a bed in about one minute (http://www.ehow.com/about_4612024_hotel-housekeeping.html ; last accessed 10/14/11).

According to a study entitled “Creating Luxury, Enduring Pain” by Unite Here (the primary union representing hotel workers in the United States), housekeepers have the most dangerous jobs at hotels and have an injury rate of more than one in ten workers—almost twice that of other hotel employees. At one pricey hotel chain, it was estimated that a housekeeper who cleaned 15 rooms stripped approximately 500 pounds of soiled linens and replaced those with 500 pounds of clean linens … resulting in back and shoulder injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis.

Two articles relating to this situation are “New Study on Hotel Housekeeper Health and Safety,” Hotel News Resource (April 25, 2006) (http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article22006.html ; last accessed 10/14/11) and Frumin et al., “Workload-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Hotel Housekeepers: Employer Records Reveal a Growing National Problem” (April 19, 2006) (http://www.hotelworkersrising.org/pdf/hskpr_analysis0406.pdf ; last accessed 10/14/11).

a. Why is it necessary for hotels to establish a standard for number of rooms to be cleaned by housekeepers?

b. The average annual wages of housekeepers is $20,250, although this may be higher at the larger hotel chains. The large hotel chains are, however, attempting to eliminate health-care benefits with the wage increases. Given the rate of job injuries, do you believe that the housekeepers are better off with the lower wage and health-care benefits or a higher wage and no health-care benefits? Explain.

c. In an eight-hour day (480 minutes), cleaning 15 rooms amounts to approximately 32 minutes per room. What makes it difficult for a housekeeper to strip and remake a bed, vacuum, lightly dust, and clean a bathroom in that period of time?

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