Stitched-up: striking Paris hotel chambre maids mount catwalk protest

12 photos

When the Paris Fashion Week opened this week to the usual glitzy catwalk shows of next year’s haute couture spring and summer designs for the happy few, just a mile away from the venue an unhappy group of sub-contracted workers serving the luxury Park Hyatt hotel held a counter ‘sidewalk show’ of their own, in a protest over pay and “deplorable” working conditions. On part-time contracts that they claim in reality bordered full-time working hours, they began an unlimited strike on September 20th to demand overtime payment, full-time working contracts and a yearly bonus payment. In this reportage of still photos, video and audio, photographer Patrick Artinian captured the anything-but-dull défilé outside the embarrassed hotel on the chic rue de la Paix.

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  1. Patrick Artinian

    September 24th, rue de la Paix in central Paris:  the chamber maids turned up to give their own take on the Paris Fashion Week which had opened at the Carrousel du Louvre the same morning. They gathered in a carnival-like atmosphere close to the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme five-star hotel where they were working for a sub-contractor company called Française de services. In a statement issued by the CGT trades union, they described their working conditions as “deplorable” and denounced the hotel as the only one with an official top-rated ‘Palace’ designation in the capital to use sub-contracted staff.

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