UNITE HERE Local 5 Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Sheraton Maui

October 16, 2018, 1:36 PM HST · Updated October 17, 7:02 AM
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UNITE HERE Local 5 has filed an unfair labor practice charge against Sheraton Maui, alleging violations of federal labor law against three Sheraton Maui employees.

Just days after Kyo-ya released a statement saying they’re “ready to welcome back” striking employees, management at the hotel—owned by Kyo-ya and operated by Marriott—trespassed three Sheraton Maui workers, which bans them from the hotel property for one year.

The unfair labor practice charge states that on Oct. 12, 2018, Sheraton Maui “interfered with, restrained and coerced employees… by telling employees that they were not permitted to distribute leaflets to customers, causing an employee to be detained and handcuffed, evicting the employees from the employer’s property, banning employees from hotel property for one year and thereby constructively discharging them, and threatening employees with arrest and prosecution if they remained on or returned to the property.”

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. Hotel security called the Maui Police Department and had officers handcuff one of the workers, Bernie Sanchez, when they attempted to leave.

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“By banning us from Sheraton Maui for one year, they’re basically firing us,” said Roel Lizada, a Sheraton Maui bell and valet worker who was one of the three workers passing out leaflets. “I am very disappointed in Kyo-ya, especially when they’re claiming that they want to welcome workers back. I’m glad Local 5 filed this charge and is standing up for our rights.”

Since Oct. 8, 2,700 Marriott hotel workers on Maui and in Waikiki are on strike. The strike has been going on for nine days and impacts five hotels operated by Marriott and owned by Kyo-ya: Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui.

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.

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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.

Kyo-ya could not be reached for comment.

UNITE HERE Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 workers throughout Hawai‘i who work in the hospitality, health care 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.

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