Royal Kona Resort workers rally for good jobs on Big Island

Media Advisory for April 10, 2018

Media Contact:
Paola Rodelas
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
prodelas@5.unitehere.org

Royal Kona Resort workers rally for good jobs on Big Island

WHAT: Royal Kona Resort workers rally to demand good, quality jobs

WHERE: Royal Kona Resort (on Kahakai Rd.)

WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 (3:30p – 5:30p)

WHO: Royal Kona Resort workers who work in housekeeping, food & beverage, engineering, front desk, and more.

WHY: Workers at the Royal Kona Resort, owned by Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts based in California, will be rallying in front of the hotel to address the need for good jobs on the Big Island.

Nearly 200 workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 5, have been without a union contract for over a year. Management’s proposal could jeopardize their benefits.
“When the hotel was struggling, workers agreed to only a small increases to pay and benefits, neither of which met the Local 5 standard. Now room occupancy levels are high and the hotel is doing very well, but management continues to keep us behind,” says Maggie Larson, who has worked at the Royal Kona Resort housekeeping department for 27 years, “We need good, quality jobs in Kona and all of Big Island. We don’t want to be treated like second-class citizens.”
Work safety is another key issue that the workers want to address, but management has refused. Housekeepers at the Royal Kona Resort clean 17 rooms per shift, while housekeepers at other union hotels clean only 15 rooms, at most. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hotel workers experience higher injury rates than coal miners.

On March 19, 95% of the workers voted to authorize a strike, sending a strong message of unity. Although the workers will not be going on strike on Wednesday, the workers have not ruled this out as a possibility in the future.

VISUALS: Royal Kona Resort workers in red shirts rallying in front of the Royal Kona Resort, chanting with picket signs.

Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 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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