Spring Break’s Cleanup Crew

It’s the worst time to be a hotel housekeeper in Miami. The rest of the year’s pretty bad, too.

Feature (Florida)

Michelle Chen
March 25, 2016

Tags: Employment, Guest Workers, Workers Rights

Organizations mentioned/involved: Florida Legal Services (FLS)



Compared with even lower-paid work in retail and fast food, hotel jobs are considered a decent way to earn a living in Miami, offering one way for poor immigrants to work toward living wages and benefits after a few years.

Though tourism service jobs start at poverty pay scales, the fast-growing sector offers a narrow path out of drudgery. But the annual pilgrimage of college students for spring break coincides with a sharp rise in both complaints and grievances—complaints from guests about poor service and grievances filed by workers in disputes with managers over working conditions or contract rules.