Press Release for March 8, 2019
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
Workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the largest Hilton in the world, announce strike vote at International Women’s Day Rally
Nearly 2,000 Local 5 members will be taking a strike vote on March 21 to send a clear, unified message that One Job Should Be Enough to live in Hawaii
(Honolulu) – UNITE HERE Local 5 members at Hilton Hawaiian Village rallied today at the world’s largest Hilton to demand a new contract for the hotel’s 2,000 workers. They announced that they will be taking a strike vote on March 21 to send a clear, unified message that One Job Should Be Enough to live in Hawaii.
Hundreds of workers and community members gathered on International Women’s Day to show strength and solidarity as members approach bargaining with Hilton. The rally also included non-union hotel workers from the DoubleTree Hilton Alana Waikiki who recently called on Hilton for a fair process to decide whether to unionize. The DoubleTree Alana is operated by the Hilton and owned by Malaysia-based Keck Seng. Every year, Local 5 organizes an action for International Women’s Day to honor and celebrate women, who comprise the majority of workers in Hawaii’s largest industry.
Local 5 represents over 1,800 workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village – the largest hotel in Hawaii and the largest Hilton hotel in the world – as well as nearly 200 workers at Hawaii Care & Cleaning (HCC), who are subcontracted to do housekeeping work at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Their union contracts expired in July 2018. Contract negotiations with Hilton will commence on March 22 and 23.
Local 5 members who work at Hilton are demanding a new contract that will put the workers on par with 2,700 workers from the five Marriott-operated hotels who went on a 51-day strike in 2018 to demand that one job should be enough to live in Hawaii.
On top of wage and benefits increase and workplace safety, Local 5 members at Hilton demand that the company address the issue of subcontracting and automation. “Subcontracting is rapidly encroaching our workplace and it needs to be eliminated. When you bring in more people from the outside, what is going to happen to my job? Also, we need to make sure that when jobs are automated and technology replace services, the workers can adapt to new roles and keep their jobs. We need the job security. I’m voting yes to strike because I want to have my future secured not only for myself and my family but also for the future generations, ” says Ruby Ann Rubina, a housekeeper at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Subcontracted workers from HCC also call on Hilton to end subcontracting and bring the workers in-house so that they can be treated equally to the Hilton workers they work alongside. “The reason why I’m voting yes to strike is because I’ve been a member of Local 5 and pay my dues, but we don’t get the same benefits that the Hilton workers get. The only way we can get those benefits is to join them. I’m doing this all for my family. We don’t get full family medical coverage like the Hilton workers. My family needs this,” says Kenziro Kloulubak, a carpet technician at HCC.
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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