Housekeeping Attendants Enjoy New Recognition

Housekeeping Attendants Enjoy New Recognition

Housekeepers who used to blend into the background are now more visible than before and their presence reassures the few workers who are busy in the office towers.

Share November 11, 2020 3:48 p.m. Updated at 5:08 p.m. Share Housekeeping attendants enjoy new recognition Jessica Beauplat The Canadian Press MONTREAL – Housekeeping companies feared the worst during the first lockdown last March, since commercial buildings constitute, for many of them, the vast majority of their customers. Six months later, activities resumed and the number of contracts exploded.

Housekeepers who used to blend into the background are now more visible than before and their presence reassures the few workers who are busy in the office towers.

“Customers want to see our employees on site,” explains Véronique Allard, Vice-President of Communications and Marketing at Services Roy.

“Since our employees usually work evenings or nights, we have therefore adjusted the work shifts so that some of them share day shifts. We even got bibs to identify them, ”she continues.

“On the one hand, it is reassuring for people and on the other hand our employees feel valued,” explains the spokesperson. She speaks of a positive transformation within the industry: “We salute the maintenance employees. They are told that they are heroes. This is the first time that we have recognized the value of their work so much. “

“Let's face it, it's not the most glamorous job , but I derive satisfaction from the work accomplished,” says Michel Gariépy, an employee of Services Roy for forty years.

“I was a welder by training. I started doing housework while waiting, then you have to believe that I am still waiting, ”he jokes.

This becomes evident by conversing with Mr. Gariepy: he likes what he does. After supervising teams for thirty years, he “returned to the floor ten years ago”.

After all these years, he is not thinking of retirement, especially as the importance of cleaning and disinfection takes on its full meaning in the current crisis. “People realize that if we weren't there the job wouldn't be done,” he says. They might not have seen this before. ”

Housekeeping attendants are enjoying new recognition, he notes. The relationship with the public is evolving, so much so that Mr. Gariépy speaks of a palpable change that is being felt among his colleagues. He notices greater motivation within the troops over the past six months.

He salutes this enthusiasm for the profession which he exercises with pride. “If there is one positive thing that the pandemic has brought, it is a different look at certain trades,” he says.

Labor: variable geometry situations

Ms. Allard admits there have been contract losses, but not “massive cuts”. It was able to reassign employees, especially to big box stores where demand was higher.

She also managed to recruit new employees last summer, although it was more difficult than usual. The Canada Emergency Benefit was partly responsible, she said. “At the same time, the summer season is always a little calmer season for recruiting,” Ms. Allard puts into perspective.

It's also complicated to attract new recruits lately for the director of business development at Ménage-Pro, Aziz Ramzi.

His order book is overflowing and the staff are insufficient for the task to the point where they sometimes have to refuse contracts, he explains.

“The shortage of manpower existed before, but it was accentuated with the pandemic”, he notes. He also suspects the new Canada Economic Stimulus Benefit is holding some people home.

However, he prefers to look at things on the bright side and admits that the wave of new customers is due in large part to the health crisis.

This report was prepared as part of the Facebook and The Canadian Press News Scholarship program.

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