Some of New York's biggest hotels have approved a deal that would give hotel workers personal panic alarms in an effort to improve safety for those staffers.
The provision in the proposed contract calls for the hotels to equip employees with devices to be carried on their persons at work that they can quickly and easily activate to effectively summon prompt assistance to their location.
The devices, which will vary from hotel to hotel for technical reasons but will all have the function of calling for help, will be distributed to housekeepers, room-service waiters and even mini-bar attendants within a year.
Concerns have been raised for the safety of hotel staff since last year after former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of attemping to rape a hotel maid at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan. Afterwards, hotel workers across the country called on their managers to increase security.
However, neither union officials nor representatives of the hotels would acknowledge that the Strauss-Kahn incident was the cause for this measure.