Rachel Keke: will she be the first chambermaid to become a French deputy?

This Sunday, the Insoumise Rachel Keke, governess at the Ibis des Batignolles hotel in Paris, and figurehead of the chambermaids’ strike of this same establishment, came first in the first round of the legislative elections in her constituency. She is thus well ahead of her main rival, the former Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu. Focus on a personality that is very much out of the game.

The second round of the legislative elections, which will take place next Sunday, June 19, 2022 therefore, everywhere in France, will be particularly scrutinized in the 7th district of Val-de-Marne. And for good reason: a duel at the top will oppose the new union of the left, the Nupes, to the presidential majority. having arrived ahead of her main rival, former sports minister Roxana Maracineanuthe Rebellious candidate Rachel Keke is even given a slight favorite. However, it was not won for her since her constituency is historically placed on the right of the French political spectrum.

Rachel Keke, at the head of the longest strike in the history of the hotel industry

13 points therefore separate the candidate of Emmanuel Macron, Roxana Maracineanu, and Rachel Keke. The latter having indeed collected 37.22% of the votes in the seventh constituency of Val-de-Marne this Sunday, June 12, 2022, against 23.77% for the former Minister of Sports. The former maid, who has now become a governess, could therefore well and truly become the first French maid to enter the National Assembly on June 19. And this would not be his first record. Not even his first battle. A key figure in the chambermaids’ strike at the Ibis Batignolles hotel in Paris, a social movement which lasted 22 months and ended in a landslide victory for the strikers over the Accor group, she was effectively at the head of the longest strike in the history of the French hotel industry. And in particular obtained a salary increase for all staff.

From Abidjan to the Ibis hotel

Considered a modern-day heroine by most of her colleagues, Rachel Keke was born in Abobo, north of Abidjan, in 1974. She arrived in France in 2000 following the December 1999 coup in his native country, Côte d’Ivoire. Very quickly, she works as a hairdresser in her uncle’s salon, but she is very quickly forced to change paths. She then turned to the hotel industry. First of all room maid part-time within the group against which she fought for a long time, it was only after several years of recourse that she obtained a post of full-time housekeeper at the Ibis Batignolles hotel in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Position that she still occupies today, but that she will obviously have to leave, to the chagrin of her colleagues, if she is elected as an MP next Sunday.

How Rachel Keke got into politics

Although she seems made for wrestling, Rachel Keke is not really behind her candidacy in the seventh constituency of Val-de-Marne. Because if she participated actively in the presidential campaign of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the 48-year-old Franco-Ivorian from Chevilly-Larue was in fact offered the nomination by the local section of France Insoumise. She even hesitated for a moment before accepting this heavy task. His program? She wishes enhance the professions “invisible” yet “essential” and “make the invisible visible”. So the one that is described by the deputy of France Insoumise François Ruffin as being “very popular” will she be one of the 577 deputies of the French Nation? Answer at the polls on next june 19.


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