Tentative Contract Agreement Reached at 5 Hawai‘i Hotels

November 28, 2018, 10:32 AM HST · Updated November 28, 11:27 AM
Wendy Osher · 1 Comment
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Unite Here Local 5 members voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a new contract for 2,700 workers at five Hawaiʻi hotels operated by Marriott and owned by Kyo-ya, including 325 workers at the Sheraton Maui.

Union representatives say the contract includes job security, reductions in subcontracting of staff positions, working involvement in technology deployment, a child/elder fund, a reduction in workload for housekeepers, an increase in wages, an increase in pension contributions and an increase in health and welfare contributions.

Job security is a key element of the new contract. “No matter how high your pay is or how great your benefits are, if there is no job security, those benefits will disappear if you lose your job,” housekeeper Jowenna Ellazar said.

“The new agreement meets the needs of our employees and Kyo-ya,” said the management of Kyo-ya in a joint press release. “We look forward to welcoming them back and look forward to more years of working together to successfully provide world-class service to our guests. We also want to thank the community for their patience and understanding throughout this process.”

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“We’re grateful for the solidarity of our fellow union members and the support of the entire community,” UNITE HERE Local 5 President Gemma Weinstein said.

The old contract expired at the end of June, and some 2,500 Marriott workers in San Francisco remain on strike.

The Hawaiʻi workers have been on strike since Oct. 8, making a plea that “One Job Should be Enough.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said it’s encouraging to hear that a tentative agreement was reached between UNITE HERE Local 5 and the Kyo-ya Management Group.

“The message from our striking local workers resonated far beyond our island home. People that work and live on O‘ahu deserve to earn a wage that allows them to provide for their families. Hopefully, with this agreement in place, our hotel workers can return to doing what they do best – showing their unique brand of aloha to everyone who visits our island,” said Caldwell in a statement.

Hawaiʻi hotels included in the negotiations are: Sheraton Waikīkī, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and Sheraton Maui.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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