Hawaii workers defy Trump administration in largest union action this year

UNITEHERE! Local 5

Press release for June 27, 2018

Media Contact:
Paola Rodelas
Office Phone: (808) 941-2141 ext. 270
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
[email protected]

Hawaii workers defy Trump administration in largest union action this year

Over 1,500 Local 5 members and community supporters show unity and strength amidst the Janus decision, demanding that One Job Should Be Enough

View tweets from actions worldwide: #1job #UNITEHERE

(Honolulu, HI) – Over 1,500 members of UNITE HERE Local 5 – the union representing over 11,000 hotel, healthcare, and food service workers – were joined by community supporters in a march and rally in Waikiki to demand that one job should be enough to live in Hawai’i and keep up with the cost of living.

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision on Janus v. AFSCME that rigs the system like never before against working-class families. But Local 5 remains defiant, moving forward with its plans to march down Waikiki.

“The Janus decision is another attack on working families by the Trump administration—just like the family separation happening at the border and yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling supporting the Muslim ban. It shows that the Trump administration and the corporations are scared when working people are united and organizing. So our response is to organize and come together. And we did that today at our One Job Should Be Enough march and rally,” says Gemma Weinstein, President of UNITE HERE Local 5.

Governor David Ige, who also released a statement today expressing his disappointment with the Janus decision, spoke at the rally. He told a cheering crowd of Local 5 members that he “shares their dream that one job should be enough.”

The march in Waikiki was part of the launch of a national campaign to raise standards in the hotel industry with demonstrations led by thousands of union and non-union Marriott workers in eight cities across the United States, including San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Philadelphia and San Jose. Carrying the message “One Job Should Be Enough,” Marriott workers are calling on their employer, the largest and most profitable hotel company in the world, to use its leadership in the global hotel industry to create jobs that are enough to live on.

Around 100 Maui residents who work at Sheraton Maui and Kaanapali Beach Club sign waved and demanded that one job should be enough

Around 100 people on Maui also took action and sign waved in front of Lahaina Cannery Mall. “I’m a single mom of 3 kids and I work two full-time jobs as a phone operator at two hotels. I am fighting for this contract to make these jobs good enough so that I can work one job and spend time with my kids. I also don’t want them to struggle with two jobs like me,” says Laurie DeCoite, who has worked at the Sheraton Maui’s PBX department for 30 years.

Over 10,000 workers have union contracts expiring in 2018. Over 7,600 of them work in 20 hotels on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawai’i Island. Nearly 4,000 work at Marriott hotels. Local 5 members have their first contract bargaining session with Marriott tomorrow on June 28.

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.

# # #

Maui hotel workers to sign wave, demand that One Job Should Be Enough

Media Advisory for June 22, 2018

Media Contact: Paola Rodelas
Office Phone: (808) 941-2141 ext. 270
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
[email protected]

Maui hotel workers to sign wave, demand that One Job Should Be Enough

20 Hawaii hotels, including Sheraton Maui, have union contracts expiring in 2018; workers call on hotel companies to provide One Job that is Enough for Workers

WHAT: Sheraton Maui workers sign waving to demand that One Job Should Be Enough

WHERE: Lahaina Cannery Mall (1221 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761)

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 27, 2018 (4:15pm – 5:45pm)

WHO: Sheraton Maui workers in housekeeping, food & beverage, front desk, and more. Other Local 5 members who work at Kaiser Permanente and Kaanapali Beach Club will also be there in solidarity.

WHY: Over 10,000 workers who work in 20 Hawaii hotels have union contracts expiring in 2018. Marriott, the largest and richest hotel chain in the world, operates eight Local 5 hotels[1] including Sheraton Maui, making Marriott the major employer that the union will be bargaining with this year.

Hotel workers are calling on Marriott to use its leadership in the global hotel industry to create jobs that are enough to live on in Hawaii. Local 5 members are the backbone of Hawaii’s tourism industry with record high visitor arrivals and spending, hotel sales, and room rates; yet workers struggle to live in the same city they welcome guests and travelers to.

“I’m a single mom of 3 kids and I work two full-time jobs as a phone operator at two hotels. I am fighting for this contract to make these jobs good enough so that I can work one job and spend time with my kids. I also don’t want them to struggle with two jobs like me,” says Laurie DeCoite, who has worked at the Sheraton Maui’s PBX department for 30 years.

Marriott employees in nine cities across the U.S. and Canada who are members of UNITE HERE will also hold simultaneous demonstrations in what will be the launch of an international contract fight for Marriott workers facing or already impacted by immediate contract expirations. In addition to demanding Marriott provide jobs that are enough for workers to live on in the cities where they work, workers will demand Marriott protect their ability to serve guests, use technology to innovate not cut human service, and offer stronger protections for safety at work, including sexual harassment.

VISUALS: Workers in red shirts, holding signs and banners that read “One Job Should Be Enough”

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.

# # #

[1] Waikiki Beach Marriott, Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Maui, Sheraton Kauai, Waikoloa Beach Marriott

Thousands of Local 5 workers to kick off union contract expiration with largest march and rally in years

Media Advisory for June 22, 2018

Media Contact: Paola Rodelas
Office Phone: (808) 941-2141 ext. 270
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
[email protected]

Thousands of Local 5 workers to kick off union contract expiration with largest march and rally in years

20 Hawaii hotels have union contracts expiring in 2018; workers call on hotel companies to Provide One Job that is Enough for Hotel Workers

WHAT: UNITE HERE Local 5 march and rally to launch international union contract campaign

Click the map to see larger version

WHERE: Two march starting points at 1) Ft. DeRussy and 2) Kalakaua & Kaiulani. Both marches end with a rally on Kalakaua near the banyan tree and the Duke Kahanamoku statue. See attached map.

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 27, 2018 (4:00pm – 6:00pm). Both marches start at 4:30pm. Rally near the Duke statue starts at 5:30pm.

WHO: Thousands of UNITE HERE Local 5 workers from dozens of hotels in Waikiki, including Marriott workers from five of the most prominent hotels in Hawai’i, who work in housekeeping, food & beverage, engineering, front desk, and more

WHY: Over 10,000 workers who work in 20 Hawaii hotels have union contracts expiring in 2018. Marriott, the largest and richest hotel chain in the world, operates eight Local 5 hotels[1], making Marriott the major employer that the union will be bargaining with this year.

Hotel workers are calling on Marriott to use its leadership in the global hotel industry to create jobs that are enough to live on in Hawaii. Local 5 members are the backbone of Hawaii’s tourism industry with record high visitor arrivals and spending, hotel sales, and room rates; yet workers struggle to live in the same city they welcome guests and travelers to.

Marriott employees in nine cities across the U.S. and Canada who are members of UNITE HERE will also hold simultaneous demonstrations in what will be the launch of an international contract fight for Marriott workers facing or already impacted by immediate contract expirations. In addition to demanding Marriott provide jobs that are enough for workers to live on in the cities where they work, workers will demand Marriott protect their ability to serve guests, use technology to innovate not cut human service, and offer stronger protections for safety at work, including sexual harassment.

VISUALS: Thousands of workers in red shirts, holding signs and banners that read “One Job Should Be Enough,” while they march down Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki

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.

# # #

[1] Waikiki Beach Marriott, Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Maui, Sheraton Kauai, Waikoloa Beach Marriott

Local 5 endorses David Ige for Governor

Local 5 endorses David Ige for Governor

Hawaii’s Best Union three years in a row announced the endorsement to hundreds of Local 5 members at their annual statewide Delegate Convention

(Honolulu, HI) – UNITE HERE Local 5, Hawaii’s Best Union three years in a row and one of the largest private sector unions in the state, announced that they are endorsing David Ige for Governor. The announcement was made at Local 5’s annual statewide Delegate Convention, where hundreds of Local 5 members enthusiastically responded to the news.

Local 5’s member-led Political Action Team made the endorsement recommendation, and Local 5’s elected Executive Board unanimously supported the endorsement.

“Local 5 is endorsing Governor Ige in his re-election campaign because he has been loyal to Hawaii’s working families. We saw this when he vetoed a bad Airbnb bill; if it had passed, it would have allowed illegal vacation rentals to overrun our state and take away what little affordable housing is left for locals. He shot down the NextEra merger with Hawaiian Electric, which would have been disastrous for working families who already pay way too much for utilities and can’t afford to pay more,” says Eric Gill, Financial Secretary-Treasurer of Local 5.

Governor Ige also affirmed his support for nearly 150 non-union United Airlines catering workers at the Honolulu Airport who want a fair process to unionize. “Governor Ige understands that workers like me are the backbone of Hawaii’s tourism industry. I’m happy to hear that he supports raising the minimum wage to $15. As a non-union United Airlines catering worker, I only make $12 an hour and struggle to make ends meet. Like us, Governor Ige believes that one job should be enough to live in Hawai’i and support our families,” says Ino Otto, who has worked at United Airlines catering for five years.

Over 10,000 Local 5 members in the hospitality, healthcare, and food service industries have union contracts expiring this year. Most of the major union hotel contracts expire on June 30. Governor Ige pledged to support Local 5’s One Job Should Be Enough campaign and will be joining Local 5 members next week as we publicly launch the campaign.

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.

# # #

Royal Kona Resort workers ratify union contract

Royal Kona Resort workers ratified their union contract with a 100% yes vote. Workers fought hard for the past year and a half to demand good quality jobs in Kona and all of Hawai’i Island. As a result, they got a great contract with:

  • wage and benefit increases
  • improved job security language against the subcontracting of jobs and in the event of foreclosure and bankruptcy
  • housekeeping workload has been reduced from 17 rooms to 15 rooms,
  • join the HARIETT training program

HMS Host Kahului Airport workers ratify 1st union contract

HMS Host workers at Kahului Airport on Maui ratified their first union contract on Saturday with 100% voting YES! These workers organized to join our union last year and did not stop until they achieved fairness, better wages, job security, and many other benefits through this 3-year contract. We welcome them into our Local 5 family!

View more photos on our Facebook page.