UNITE HERE! Local 5
For Immediate Release
March 23, 2017
Media Contact: Paola Rodelas
Office: (808) 941-2141, ext. 270
Mobile: (808) 333-4782
Local 5 gains 105 new members as Hilton Garden Inn workers ratify first union contract
The deal will improve healthcare, workload, and more
Honolulu (March 23, 2017) – 105 workers at the Hilton Garden Inn, newly represented by UNITE HERE! Local 5, ratified their first union contract with a 97% vote. The new 5-year contract will guarantee wage increases, full family medical coverage, a pension, and more.
“Many of my coworkers with children struggle with paying for family medical coverage. My new union contract is going to give all of us full family medical. Living in Hawaii is not easy. We can put that savings toward other important things in our lives, like rent or childcare,” says Mason Kia, a guest service agent at the Hilton Garden Inn.
The contract also makes improvements to housekeeping workload; 79% of Hilton Garden Inn housekeepers surveyed experience daily body pain while at work and 67% take medications for their body pain. The new contract is also the first with language that allows housekeepers to drop a room from their daily quota if they are assigned to clean a room occupied by four or more guests.
“Cleaning a room where several guests stayed is hard work,” says Cecile Daniels, a Hilton Garden Inn housekeeper, “Usually it means there was a family staying there or there was a hotel party. It takes a lot longer to clean than normal. Our new union contract is going to make our workplace a lot safer for us.”
90% of Hilton Garden Inn workers voted to join Local 5 on January 16, 2017. Contract negotiations began in February, and the settlement was reached on March 15 after a 19-hour bargaining session.
“The fact that we ratified this union contract so quickly is a testament to the unity and solidarity that these workers displayed,” says Eric Gill, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 5, “When people come together, we win.”
Local 5 represents approximately 10,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.
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