Just days after releasing a statement saying they’re “ready to welcome back”  striking employees, Kyo-ya “trespassed” three Sheraton Maui workers, which bans them from the hotel property for one year, according to a press release issued on Oct. 15, 2018, by UNITE HERE Local 5.
The three employees were passing out leaflets to guests in the hotel’s porte corchere, informing them of the strike which impacts their hotel and four other hotels in Hawai‘i.
Security called Maui Police Department and had them handcuff one of the workers, Bernie Sanchez, when they attempted to leave.
“We have a legal right to be on the hotel property to inform guests about why we are on strike and how this can impact them, “said Sanchez, a server at the Sheraton Maui. “Guests have been very understanding of our message that one job should be enough to live in Hawai‘i. I am very disappointed that Kyo-ya banned us when they claim to be so welcoming to workers.”
Since Oct. 8, 2,700 Marriott hotel workers on Maui and in Waikīkī have been on strike. The strike has been going on for eight days and impacts five hotels operated by Marriott and owned by Kyo-ya: the Sheraton Maui, Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
Workers will be picketing at all five hotels for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are urging visitors and residents to support workers by not patronizing these hotels. The strike has made a significant impact on guest services. All five hotels have had to limit or eliminate guest services such as housekeeping, restaurants, pool services and more.
Guests have complained that Marriott and Kyo-ya did not give them an advanced notice about the strikes, the union release said. Upon arrival, guests are receiving letters from management about the limited guest services. Management is only offering compensation to impacted guests on a case-by-case basis.
The strike comes as Marriott and Kyo-ya have failed to reach agreement on workers’ modest demand that One Job Should Be Enough, despite months of negotiations. This includes key issues such as job security around technology and automation, workplace safety, and the need for Marriott and Kyo-ya to compensate workers so that one job can be enough for workers to support themselves.
Maui Marriott and Waikīkī workers are joining a nationwide strike totaling eight cities with 7,700 Marriott hotel workers from 23 hotels. Strikes began last week in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Detroit with thousands of workers are demanding that One Job Should Be Enough. Kyo-ya is the largest owner of Marriott hotels in all of the striking cities; in addition to the Hawaii hotels, they also own the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, which is also on strike. More cities may join the strikes at any moment: 8,300 UNITE HERE Marriott workers have authorized strikes in major U.S. tourism destinations.
UNITE HERE maintains MarriottTravelAlert.org , a service for customers of Marriott hotels who need to know whether labor disputes could affect their travel or event plans.
UNITE HERE Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 workers throughout Hawai‘i who work in the hospitality, healthcare and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 270,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org .