THREE Sydney hotel housekeepers have become the first workers to apply for improved wages and condition at the new industrial relations umpire, Fair Work Australia.Nada, there's a reason why you get paid so little. If you are exhausted after working in your job all week, how about you try getting a cushy job in an office which pays more.
The trio, who each clear a base $500 a week on a pay rate of $14.31 an hour, lodged an application yesterday aimed at forcing their employers to negotiate collectively with their union.
In the dying days of Work Choices, a number of luxury hotels have been trying to convince their staff to sign non-union agreements.
A majority of workers in 15 large hotels, including the Marriott, Sheraton and Hilton, appointed the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union as their bargaining agent to seek a collective agreement under the new Fair Work Act, which came into effect yesterday.
Nada Limontova, 48, who has worked at the Sofitel Hotel Wentworth in Sydney for 15 years as a housekeeper, said that after working for five days at the physically demanding job "I am half dead".
"The job is so, so hard. When we can't finish all the rooms in time, the management are always asking questions: why you leave that room?
"It is such a difficult situation. It is very terrible. How do we live in Sydney on such bad money? God knows. We are struggling, struggling, like the majority of people in Australia now. They try to survive.
"I feel physically exhausted; I work so hard for so little money."
You'll still be exhausted at the end of the week.