Strike at Royal Hawaiian Hotel! Thousands of Local 5 members at Kyo-Ya Waikiki hotels honor Royal Hawaiian concierge strike, do not report to work

Media Advisory for January 26, 2018

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

Strike at Royal Hawaiian Hotel! Thousands of Local 5 members at Kyo-Ya Waikiki hotels honor Royal Hawaiian concierge strike, do not report to work

WHAT: Local 5 approves picket line to support the one-day strike of non-union Royal Hawaiian Hotel concierge workers

WHERE: Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian loading dock (Kalia Road and Helumoa Road)

WHEN: Friday, January 26, 2018| 3:00a – 6:00p

WHO:  Thousands of Local 5 members from the hospitality, healthcare, and food service industries in solidarity with Royal Hawaiian concierge workers on strike.

WHY: Concierge workers at the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, owned by Japan-based Kyo-Ya Hotel and Resorts, are on strike to stand up for good, secure jobs that are being threatened by subcontracting.

On October 2017, Kyo-Ya announced that they will subcontract their concierge work to Pleasant Holidays, a tour activities company, starting February 1, 2018.

The 11 concierge workers who work at The Royal Hawaiian are non-union. Thousands of UNITE HERE Local 5 members who work at Kyo-Ya’s four Waikiki hotels (Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani) are honoring their picket line and not going to work. Many more Local 5 members from other union-represented workplaces will also be on the picket line in solidarity.

Local 5 has approved their picket line and Local 5 members are standing in solidarity with non-union concierge workers because subcontracting destroys our jobs, our families, and our communities.

The concierge workers are asking for their jobs to remain intact and in-house. They urge travelers and the community to join their picket lines at the Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.

VISUALS: Thousands in red shirts picketing near the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian loading dock, 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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For Kyo-Ya Local 5 members: Know your Rights

Royal Hawaiian concierges have gone on strike as of 3am this morning. Their strike will end at 6pm tonight. Local 5 has approved their picket line. Kyo-Ya Local 5 members are urged to honor the line and not work today.

The most important thing for you to know is: you are protected if you choose to respect their line. You are protected if you do not cross their picket line. Our contract, section 9.2, allows you to respect a lawful picket line approved by the Union.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

What do I do if I come to work and see a picket line approved by the Union?
You have a right to respect the picket line and, as with any approved picket line, we recommend that you do not cross. You do not have to notify your boss that you are honoring it. Under your contract, you can’t picket or strike but you can only respect the concierge’s picket line by not crossing. You can enjoy the day off.

What if I am already inside and started working and I hear that a strike line has gone up outside? What should I do?You should finish your shift. The CBA requires that the Employer provide employees “reasonable notice of any changes in the schedule and the Union is promptly notified by management of the reason for the change in schedule.” The Employer must consider your prior commitments so, if asked to stay overtime, you should make those known to your manager.

What if I am home and find out that a strike line is at the hotel, what should I do?
If you know there is a union-approved picket line, you do not have to call in or come in. Report to your next scheduled shift after the strike ends. If you are on-call, you do not have to accept a shift and you may respect the line.

How will we get know when the strike begins and ends? Only the concierges know if and when a strike will happen. When the Union is notified, we will send a text blast to all those who are on our plugged in phone list. To get on the text blast list, see your organizer. You can also call your committee member for updates or the Local 5 office at 941-2141. For some, you will know when you arrive and see a line.

Has anything like this happened before? What was the result? Yes, in 2004 a group of Kyo-ya hotel workers from San Francisco that work at the Palace Hotel set up a picket line outside the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The Union approved this picket line and over 90% of the workers at both hotels respected it. It was one of our most powerful actions and showed great unity that helped us win the best contract we ever won in 2006.

Why does this matter to me?
The best way to secure high standards of wages, benefits and job security is to have a Union. Employers often resist Union growth because they want to limit our power. If we grow, we get stronger and we win more. A group of concierges approached the Union in August 2017 and then met with the company in October 2017 to ask for a fair process to join the Union. On October 26, 2017 they were notified that they would be subcontracted. We stand behind the concierge workers because they will make us stronger and they will help us win a new contract. By respecting the line, we send a very powerful message to the company that Union and Non-Union are united to fight subcontracting, and that we will keep fighting until we win.

PRESS RELEASE: Concierge workers warn travelers of possible strike at Kyo-Ya’s Waikiki hotels

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

Concierge workers warn travelers of possible strike at Kyo-Ya’s Waikiki hotels

If the concierge workers strike, thousands of UNITE HERE Local 5 members at Kyo-Ya’s Waikiki hotels will honor their picket line

Honolulu, HI – Concierge workers at the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, owned by Japan-based Kyo-Ya Hotel and Resorts, are warning travelers and those who have business at Kyo-Ya’s Waikiki hotels that they could be affected by a possible strike to stand up for good, secure jobs that are being threatened by subcontracting.

The 11 concierge workers who work at The Royal Hawaiian are non-union. But if they do go on strike, thousands of UNITE HERE Local 5 members who work at Kyo-Ya’s four Waikiki hotels (Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani) will honor their picket line and not go to work. Many more Local 5 members from other union-represented properties will also be on the picket line in solidarity.

On October 3, 2017, a group of concierge workers asked Kyo-Ya for a fair process to decide whether to unionize. A few weeks later, Kyo-Ya announced that they will subcontract their concierge work to Pleasant Holidays, a tour activities company, starting February 1, 2018. Concierge workers were given a choice to work for the subcontractor or take severance and leave.

“Our members have chosen to stand in solidarity with the non-union concierge workers because subcontracting destroys our jobs, our families, and our communities. Our union contracts are expiring this summer. Local 5 members are proud of the good wages, benefits, and job security that we have fought for over the years. Subcontracting is a top concern for our members because it takes away our good, secure jobs,” says Gemma Weinstein, President of Local 5.

“I have worked at The Royal Hawaiian for 31 years, and I have always looked forward to welcoming our valued guests back who are accustomed to our luxury level and personalized Concierge services. We have always been proud to be part of the Kyo-Ya family and are shocked and disappointed to find out that Kyo-Ya has decided to replace our entire Concierge staff with an outsourced Activity Desk. Our return guests have come to expect personalized recommendations, not those driven by profit and commissions,” says Wendy Nagaishi, a Royal Hawaiian concierge.

The concierge workers are asking for their jobs to remain intact and in-house. If their demands are not met, the workers warn tourists and the community that they will go on strike. They urge travelers and the community to not cross their picket lines at the Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.

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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Welcome to the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions & our Labor Management Partnership

UNITE HERE! Local 5 has been accepted into the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and subsequently into The Labor Management Partnership (LMP). LMP is better way of working, based on mutual respect, joint accountability and common goals. In most cases, this has led to measurable improvements in care and service, job security, Coalition union job growth, and region-based industry-leading wages and benefits.

The building blocks of our successful partnership include:

  • Employment and Income Security Agreement, which provides for retraining and job opportunities for displaced workers
  • National Agreement, negotiated in solidarity with 34 Coalition local unions, which goes beyond wages and benefits and creates a true voice for workers and better processes for service, quality, organizational change, and safety
  • Joint trust fund organized under the Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978 for specific partnership purposes to create and sustain frontline employee skills and program support

Your Nine-Cent Investment

Under the National Agreement, the LMP trust is funded approximately half by management and half through a nine-cent per hour wage diversion of Coalition union-represented employees. That works out to $7 per pay period. The Union Coalition agreed to joint funding of the trust fund so our unions have a full voice in the use of these funds. In Hawaii, it was ratified in our 2015 contract, but could not be implemented until we became participants in the LMP.

As of Jan 19, your paycheck will automatically show an adjustment of 9 cents per hour in your wage rate, reflecting the wage diversion for the trust. These funds support learning, communications, metrics, and regional resources for your teams. Some examples of what the trust provides for union employees like you:

  • dedicated staff to support your voice and your contributions to your front-line unit-based teams (UBTs): Hawaii-based staff will help your teams learn to work together and perform better
  • partnership training, employee health, safety and other programs: Training programs include LMP Orientation, UBT Member, Interest-based Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis (safety), among many more
  • leadership and development opportunities for union members to receive paid time to work on partnership activities
  • protection afforded by the Employment and Income Security Agreement, joint problem-solving, issue resolution processes, and many other partnership benefits
  • support for union member participation in Coalition and Kaiser Permanente conferences and events:
    • Union conferences include the annual Union Delegate Conference and the Frontline Skills Development Institute.
    • Industry conferences include the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
    • Kaiser Permanente events include the Diversity and Inclusion Conference and the Quality Conference.

PDF flyer of this announcement.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bell clerk gets $15,000 in mediation

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani terminated bell clerk Hiromi. The Union filed a grievance with the help of her coworker Godfrey Maeshiro. The Union brought the case to mediation, and the employer agreed to pay Hiromi $15,000 and change her termination to a resignation.

Fight Subcontracting: Button-up at Kyo-ya Waikiki hotels

In the last year, Kyo-ya/Marriott has done the following:

We must deal with these clear violations. The best way to deal with it is with the combined power of our membership. We cannot let subcontracting spread like a cancer. It is difficult to raise a family and find stability living in Hawaii, when we build a standard that allows us to support the ones we love, we must do everything we can to protect that standard. It is time for all Local 5 members to show strength and unity.

“It is very important that Local 5 members band together in unity to fight subcontracting. This is a great way to show we are getting ready for our contract in 2018”, says Evelyn Barnatia, Sheraton Waikiki Housekeeping.

“We must send a strong message to our employers that we will not shrink from defending our working family and our jobs. It may be the concierges today and us next. Everyone is important, everyone has value. The concierges want to join our Union, let’s fight for them”, says Jean Teo-Gibney, Royal Hawaiian Front Desk.

“When we grow our Union we all benefit. We cannot afford non-union standards bringing us down. Our whole hotel should be Union”, says Mike Kirby, Westin Moana Beach Bar.

Union Difference: Medical Benefits

Group Cost for family medical
Kyo-ya (non-union) (PPP) $ 381.40 per month, $190.70 per pay check
Pleasant Holidays (Kyo-ya concierge transfer) (PPP) $767.00 per month, $383.50 per pay check
Local 5 (Union) $0 per month, $0 per pay check