Press Statement – August 21, 2020
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
UNITE HERE Local 5 Statement on Enhanced Movement Quarantine/Resort Bubble Plan
Our state has not been able to organize effective testing programs, conduct consistent contact tracing or enforce quarantine measures. Many thousands of families have lost health care coverage at the height of a global pandemic—even at state-owned facilities like the airport.
Despite these unsolved problems and even as the virus is spreading among our most vulnerable people, the State is proceeding with hastily conceived “travel bubble” plans to open up travel. These plans fail at first glance, as they contain no provisions ensuring the safety of workers and the loved ones we rejoin when we pau work.
Our jobs won’t come back until we have proved that we can keep COVID-19 under control—the visitors we will get while the disease is raging are those we don’t want—the ones who don’t care about their safety, or ours.
The state and business leaders have now rushed to announce plans that they will have to cancel as the COVID-19 pandemic gets deeper and more dangerous. They need to take a deep breath, do what is needed to get the outbreak under control, make sure Hawaii’s people have health care, and get the people most concerned with visitor industry safety—Hawaii’s hospitality workers—involved in the detailed planning needed to operate tourism safely.
Hawaii is blowing our one chance to get it right. It is no virtue to announce vague and poorly planned measures that cannot work. Hopefully, it’s not too late to get back to the drawing board.
# # #
UNITE HERE Local 5 represents approximately 12,000 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 300,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.