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Through outsourcing and lax enforcement of labor laws, housekeeping staff in Spanish hotels have seen their salaries shrink along with their rights and benefits. A worker's union — Las Kellys — is now taking matters into its own hands by building a hotel reservations platform.
Back in 2018, Las Kellys tried to convince TripAdvisor and other booking sites to incorporate fair labor practices into hotel ratings. When that failed to materialize, they decided to turn to crowdfunding to raise money to create a platform of their own, which will only include hotels where the organization has ensured workers' rights are respected. As of writing, the group has raised €85,470, enough to launch their booking site.
While some consumers won't care about humane working conditions, no matter how well-informed they are, we'd like to think they're in the minority. Most people won't want to have their holidays or business trips catered to by workers who are actively exploited. That said — as when it comes to making sustainable choices — consumers are all too easily swayed or blinded by low prices and convenience.
But progress needs to begin somewhere, and Las Kellys' solution to fighting exploitation is both smart and powerful. As we've mentioned earlier, uncovering and transforming business models that are harmful to employees will be a leitmotif of the 2020s. Fair work, fair trade, sustainability — they're all connected, and all integral to doing business with purpose.