Local News

UNC housekeepers claim fear, intimidation by manager

Posted November 16, 2012 8:31 p.m. EST

— A group of housekeepers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have filed a grievance against their bosses for what they call a pattern of abuse.

The complaint, by 15 housekeepers, alleges that their zone manager, Juanita Williams, and crew leader Annette Reaves have created "an environment of fear and intimidation."

The housekeepers allege that Williams humiliates them publicly, calls them "stupid" and makes them cry from "constantly screaming" at them while Reaves "tries to pit" housekeepers against one another.

The group wants Williams fired and Reaves demoted to a housekeeper

Last year, a consultant's report examining problems in the university's housekeeping department found that housekeepers were treated unfairly and faced retaliation from managers when they complained.

The university said it would implement recommendations from the consultant and pledged to correct the problems, but in their grievance, the housekeepers say the problems have gotten worse.

"For a short period, we had hope that the university was going to quickly and effectively address these gross abuses of managerial power that we have endured for so long," the grievance says. "At least in our zone, our hope has turned sour. A year later, nothing has changed."