Hotel workers to get panic buttons

Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM

NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A proposed new contract for workers at the biggest hotels in New York includes a provision for personal panic buttons, a lawmaker said.

Assemblyman Rory I. Lancman, a Queens Democrat, sponsored legislation requiring hotels to provide such equipment, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Under terms of the proposed contract, hotels must equip certain employees with "devices to be carried on their persons at work" to summon help if they encounter danger.

The devices will be distributed within a year to housekeepers, room-service waiters and even the attendants who stock the minibars.

"It's a very cost-efficient and simple way to keep hotel workers safe," said Lancman. "We're grateful that the hotels have agreed to essentially adopt the premise of our legislation."

Neither union officials nor representatives of hotel owners will say that the provision is the result of an incident last year when French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in his suite at the Sofitel.

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