Housekeepers at Chicago's Hotel Burnham are rallying this afternoon for affordable health care.
The housekeepers want the private equity firm Lone Star Funds, which owns Hotel Burnham, to "provide affordable health care for families currently relying on public aid for basic coverage."
"My husband and I don't have health insurance because the hotel's plan is too expensive, and my children, Angel and Angela, are on public aid," said Burnham housekeeper Karina Tufino, who is rallying with her co-workers and allies outside the hotel today. "Why should taxpayers have to pay for my family's insurance?"
Hotel Burnham is one of four Chicago hotels operated by the Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group Inc.
Back in April, the Hotel Burnham housekeepers voted to join UNITE HERE Local 1. That month, the union conducted a study of Hotel Burnham housekeepers, finding that seven of 11 survey respondents relied on public aid for their children's health care.
"The Burnham's most affordable family health plan can cost an employee over $9,000 annually in premiums and deductibles," according to the union. "Most unionized hotel workers pay $360 per year for BlueChoice family health care, or $30 per month and no annual deductible."
This is not the first time Hotel Burnham housekeepers have spoken out. They staged a protest last October to raise awareness about the pain associated with their work.