For immediate release: July 12, 2019
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
Hyatt Regency Waikiki hotel workers ratify union contract
This is the 11th Local 5 hotel settled after Marriott workers led a historic nationwide strike in 2018
(HONOLULU) – UNITE HERE Local 5 members who work at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki voted today to ratify a union contract that covers over 500 workers—just days after nearly 2,000 workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and subcontractor Hawaii Care & Cleaning ratified their union contracts.
The contract is modeled after the contract agreement that was reached on November 27 with Kyo-ya, which owns five Marriott-operated hotels. Beginning in October 2018, nearly 2,700 workers at the five hotels went on strike for 51 days with the demand that one job should be enough to live in Hawaii. It was part of a nationwide strike, involving over 7,700 Marriott workers from 23 hotels in eight cities.
The negotiating committee, which is made up of workers from various departments, worked with the company to reach terms that include wage and benefits increases, job preservation, worker involvement in the implementation of new technology and automation, and more. This is a four-year agreement that expires on June 30, 2022.
“This contract is going to improve the lives of Hyatt workers and our families. Thank you to the Marriott/Kyo-ya workers and the Hilton workers. Together, we fought hard to achieve excellent contracts with the world’s three largest hotel companies—contracts that will help make one job enough to live in Hawaii,” said Delia Bareng, who has worked a housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki for 43 years.
In addition, the Hyatt agreement will eliminate the company’s “Totally Green” program, which encourages guests to skip housekeeping as an environmental practice. In a review of eleven leading studies and standards, experts in hospitality and environmental sustainability recommend hundreds of different strategies for reducing water, energy and chemical use. Not one recommends skipping housekeeping as an environmental strategy. Hotel green programs a way for companies to cut labor costs, resulting in damaging impact on housekeepers. Local 5 Marriott and Hilton hotels do not have green programs, and now their, and Hyatt’s, union contracts require a commitment to daily room cleaning.
Collective bargaining agreements at 20 Local 5 hotels expired in 2018. 11 hotel contracts have now been settled, covering over 5,500 hotel workers. 9 more hotel contracts remain open and the “One Job Should Be Enough” campaign continues—for Local 5 members and the broader community.
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UNITE HERE 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 270,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.