Hyatt Centric Waikiki workers vote yes to unionize


Media Contact:
Paola Rodelas
Mobile: (808) 333-4782
[email protected]

Hyatt Centric Waikiki workers vote yes to unionize

Local 5 scores biggest NLRB union election win in decades

Honolulu, HI – Hotel workers at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel voted to join the 11,000 member strong UNITE HERE Local 5. Today’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election results cover 65 workers in the housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, and food & beverage departments.

This NLRB election victory is one of many UNITE HERE campaigns nationwide to organize non-union workers who want to unionize. 48% of hospitality workers in Waikiki are non-union, making $4 to $6 an hour less than union workers and with little to no job security.

The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is a 230-room boutique hotel on the corner of Kuhio and Seaside Avenues and opened in December 2016. It was reported by Pacific Business News last November that the hotel is up for sale.

With uncertainty of the hotel’s sale looming, major issues for the workers include job security, fairness in scheduling, and having a voice on the job.

“I’ve worked eight years in the hotel industry and I voted to unionize for security reasons. I have three kids, and I wanted security for them in the future. With a union, my coworkers and I will have a voice,” says Renante Abastas, a cook at The Lanai in the Hyatt Centric Waikiki.

“I’ve been working in housekeeping at the Hyatt Centric since Day 1. I voted to unionize because I want to be protected against unfair treatment. By voting yes for the union, we sent a strong message of unity. We hope that Hyatt Centric Waikiki management will respect the workers’ decision and schedule contract negotiations as soon as possible,” says Lady Anne Tapac, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki.

In 2017, a total of 360 non-union workers in the hospitality, health care, and food service industries successfully organized to join Local 5. Nationwide, UNITE HERE organized over 13,000 non-union workers last year. Despite negative national speculation about the future of the labor movement and the looming threat of anti-union policies, these election victories show that workers understand and want unions.

As non-union workers organize to join the union’s ranks, union contracts for over 10,000 Local 5 members expire this year, starting June 30.

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

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Hilton Hawaiian Village utility steward wins overtime pay

James Alimbuyao, a utility steward at Hilton Hawaiian Village, was not offered a work opportunity by seniority. With the help of his shop steward Gladys Pobre, he filed a grievance and was paid for 8 hours of work at the overtime rate.

Department Meetings: Share your thoughts on your union contract

Local 5 will be conducting department or divisional meetings between March 16th and April 27th.

  • Come and share your thoughts regarding your contract and what our priorities should be in the upcoming negotiations.
  • Hear the Union plan that will bring true job security.
  • Learn about what it takes to win.

If you work at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Maui, or Hilton Hawaiian Village: find your department/division meeting below. More meetings will be added soon. Contact your organizer: 808-941-2141

Waikiki Hotels – Meetings Schedule
All Meetings at the Local 5 Office
1516 S King St. Honolulu, HI 96826

Date Hotel Department Time
Wed 3/21/18 Westin Moana Surfrider and
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Maintenance 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Wed. 3/28/18 Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Food & Beverage 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Wed. 3/28/18 Royal Hawaiian Housekeeping 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Thu. 3/29/18 Westin Moana Surfrider Food & Beverage 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Thu. 3/29/18 Westin Moana Surfrider Housekeeping 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Fri. 3/30/18 Westin Moana Surfrider and
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Food Prep/
9:00am – 10:30am
4:00pm – 5:30pm
Tue. 4/3/18 Westin Moana Surfrider and
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Front Desk/Pool/PBX/Uniform
4:30pm – 6:00pm
Wed. 4/4/18 Westin Moana Surfrider Banquet 11:00am – 12:30pm
Wed. 4/4/18 Royal Hawaiian Front Desk/Uniform Services 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Wed. 4/4/18 Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Housekeeping 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Thu. 4/5/18 Royal Hawaiian Food & Beverage 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Thu. 4/5/18 Sheraton Waikiki Housekeeping 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Fri. 4/6/18 Sheraton Waikiki Food & Beverage/Host help 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Fri. 4/6/18 Support Services Reservations/Finance/Storeroom/
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Mon. 4/9/18 Sheraton Waikiki & Royal Hawaiian Banquet 11:30am – 1:00pm
Mon. 4/9/18 Sheraton Waikiki Uniform Service/Valet 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Mon. 4/9/18 Royal Hawaiian Maintenance 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Tue. 4/10/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Stewarding 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Wed. 4/11/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Food Prep 1:00pm – 2:30pm &
4:00pm – 5:30pm
Wed. 4/11/18 Sheraton Waikiki Front Desk/PBX/Food & Beverage Cashier/Leahi Lounge 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Sun. 4/15/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Banquet 10:00am – 11:30am
Mon. 4/16/18 Sheraton Waikiki Stewarding 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Tue. 4/17/18 Sheraton Waikiki Food Prep 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Tue. 4/17/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Maintenance/Grounds 4:15pm – 5:45pm
Wed. 4/18/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Beverage 9:00am – 10:30am
Wed. 4/18/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Food Service (Bali, Pronto, Starbucks, Luau, Rainbow Lanai, Tropics) 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Wed. 4/18/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Clerical (Accounting, PBX, Hotline, F&B Cashiers, Reservations) 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Thu. 4/19/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Housekeeping 4:15pm – 5:45pm
Fri. 4/20/18 Royal Hawaiian Stewarding/Food Prep/Bake Shop 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Sat. 4/21/18 The Kahala ALL 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Mon. 4/23/18 Hyatt Regency Waikiki ALL 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Tue. 4/24/18 Waikiki Resort ALL 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Tue. 4/24/18 Queen Kapiolani ALL 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Wed. 4/25/18 Sheraton Waikiki Maintenance 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Thu. 4/26/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Front Desk 9:00am – 10:30am & 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Fri. 4/27/18 Hilton Hawaiian Village Uniform Service (Parking, Bell, Messenger, Doorman) 9:00am – 10:30am &
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Tue. 5/1/18 Ramada Plaza ALL 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Sheraton Maui Meetings Schedule

Date Department Location Time
Tue. 4/10/18 Front Office TBD 3:30pm
Tue. 4/10/18 Food & Beverage (front of house) TBD 5:00pm
Tue. 4/17/18 Maintenance 560 Kunu Place 5:30pm
Wed. 4/18/18 Banquets TBD 11:00am
Wed. 4/18/18 Kitchen TBD 3:30pm
Thu. 4/19/18 Housekeeping TBD 5:30pm

Sheraton Kauai Meetings Schedule (coming soon!)

A message from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions released the following message to its 80,000-plus union members on March 29, 2018:

Kaiser Permanente workers: Message from UNITE HERE Local 5 and Hawaii Nurses’ Association/OPEIU Local 50

Union leaders, bargaining team members and observers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions arrived Monday night and yesterday morning in Oakland to begin negotiations with Kaiser Permanente management for a new National Agreement. Despite an unexpected announcement on March 26 by some of the member unions that they are withdrawing from the Coalition, we are proceeding forward.

The remaining unions of the Coalition – Locals of SEIU, OPEIU, IFPTE and UNITE HERE representing more than two-thirds of the total health care workers – clarified that nothing has changed regarding the status and rights of the Coalition, and they expect negotiations to proceed.

This is will not affect the partnership in Hawaii between the Hawaii Nurses’ Association/OPEIU Local 50 and UNITE HERE Local 5. Both unions remain firmly united on the local and national level and members of both unions will retain all the rights, benefits and privileges of the National Agreement. Both unions are together requesting local bargaining and intend to bargain until an agreement is reached.

We will issue updates as this unfolds.

Hawaii’s largest Citizenship Workshop will help nearly 150 immigrants become U.S. citizens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2018

Media Contact: Paola Rodelas
Mobile: (808) 333-4782
[email protected]

Hawaii’s largest Citizenship Workshop will help nearly 150 immigrants become U.S. citizens

Immigration advocates, volunteers organize Citizenship Workshop in response to DACA expiration

Honolulu, HI – Immigration attorneys, elected officials, and community organizations are joining UNITE HERE Local 5 in organizing a Citizenship Workshop to provide one-on-one assistance for nearly 150 legal permanent residents who want to apply for U.S. citizenship.

The Citizenship Workshop will take place on Saturday, March 3 from 8:00am – 4:00pm at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center (777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI 96814). The response from Hawaii’s immigrant community was so enthusiastic that organizers had to close registration early. Around 55,000 legal permanent residents live in Hawai’i.

The response from the broader community has been just as supportive—almost 200 people are signed up to volunteer at the Citizenship Workshop.

“The Citizenship Workshop was organized in response to the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on March 5. We’re responding to all of the anti-immigration policies and rhetoric by helping nearly 150 immigrants become U.S. citizens,” says Paola Rodelas, a community organizer at UNITE HERE Local 5 who is co-organizing the workshop.

“The fact that so many immigrants and so many volunteers have signed up for this Citizenship Workshop shows where Hawai’i stands on immigration. Hawai’i was built on the backs of immigrants and continues to thrive because of our immigrant community. We stand with our immigrant communities and we support immigration reform,” says Amy Agbayani, former Chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission who is also co-organizing the workshop.

Lourdes Maquera, a housekeeper at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and her eldest daughter will be attending the Citizenship Workshop. “As a housekeeper in Hawaii’s number one industry, I am part of the backbone of Hawaii’s economy. As a single mother of three, my family depends on me. I am proud of the work I do and what I contribute to our community. I am so happy that this workshop will help my whole family become U.S. citizens so that we can continue to live here and thrive here,” says Lourdes.

The Citizenship Workshop is co-sponsored by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City and County of Honolulu, Catholic Diocese Office for Social Ministry, Hawai’i Coalition for Civil Rights, Hawaii Chapter: American Immigration Lawyers Association, Hawai’i J20, Hawai’i Peace and Justice, Hawai’i Friends of Civil Rights, and Pacific Gateway Center.

“The strength and foundation of our community is rooted in our history of immigration and our stories of struggle,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Now more than ever, we need to collectively stand up and support Hawai‘i’s immigrant families. We are happy to join Local 5 in addressing this important issue.”

Workshop organizers hope that this will be the first of many citizenship workshops. They also plan on reaching out to workshop attendees who become U.S. citizens about registering to vote.

**Note to media: Spokespersons will be available for interviews at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 3 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. We ask that members of the media be sensitive regarding the identity of people attending the Citizenship Workshop. There is a lot of fear in the immigrant community, and we would like to create as safe a space as possible. We request that you interview our designated spokespersons, rather than workshop attendees who may want to maintain their anonymity. We ask that you do not film or photograph the faces of workshop attendees unless you have their explicit permission. Thank you.

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

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