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Local Unions Clash Over Allowing Airbnb Cleaners Into The Fold

New York

The Airbnb issue has finally been solved in New York, with every party affected by the startup’s meteoric rise reaching a compromise that suits them.


In the latest sign that Airbnb is synonymous with controversy in NYC, two local unions have been battling it out on Twitter over whether or not to bring housecleaners who work in Airbnb rentals into the fold.

The Service Employees International Union was close to doing just that, Crain’s reports, and the Hotel Trades Council, another local union, was furious when the news broke.

The NYHTC represents cleaners in traditional hotels, and says Airbnb is hurting its members by cutting into hospitality revenues in the city.

While the jury is out on what Airbnb’s ultimate impact on NYC’s hospitality industry is exactly, New York hotels have long been the firm’s fiercest opponents.

The NYHTC “refuses to make sweeheart deals w/ @Airbnb b/c it turns homes into #illegalhotels,” the NYHTC’s Twitter account posted on Tuesday.

SEIU 32BJ president Héctor Figueroa compared Airbnb to Walmart, saying whatever problems labor might have with its business model, the workers it supports should be unionized.

The national leadership of both unions, which worked together on New York’s Fight for 15 campaign, are in talks over the Airbnb issue. [Crain’s]

Related Topics: airbnb, SEIU, NYHTC