Hotel union says more needs to be done to ensure staff safety

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hotels are preparing to reopen on October 15 to visitors who participate in the pre-travel testing program.

Press Statement: Kaiser’s Broken Promise

UNITEHERE! Local 5 and
Hawaii Nurses & Healthcare Professionals

For immediate release: September 18, 2020

Media Contacts:
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
[email protected]

Kaiser’s Broken Promise

When Kaiser took over Maui Memorial Hospital in 2016, Kaiser promised to improve continuity of care and reduce wait times for Maui residents’ health care.

Kaiser is breaking that promise.

Kaiser announced last week that they will close the Gastrointestinal and Ambulatory Surgery services at their Wailuku Clinic. This plan will remove several operating rooms from Maui’s health care system and put new load on the operating rooms at MMMC.
Our members at Wailuku Clinic are of course devastated by the loss of their jobs at a time that Maui is experiencing its highest unemployment rates in memory, and when experienced health care workers remain crucial to rebuilding the health and safety of our community during this pandemic. But we are equally concerned for our patients and Maui’s health.

Kaiser’s plan to shut down services at Wailuku Clinic raises obvious questions about how this move will affect the waiting time for patient procedures and treatment. Making patients move to a different facility, and receive treatment from different care provider teams, raises obvious questions about the continuity of care for Maui people.

All of Maui’s population will be affected by this move, as Kaiser patients will now have to join the patients already seeking care at the only hospital in the island. Hawaii taxpayers will have concerns as well–MMMC receives millions of dollars a year in state tax dollars.

We call for Kaiser to conduct a full, public discussion to explore the many consequences of Kaiser’s move before a final decision in this matter is reached.

Kauai gets OK to use resort bubbles for a limited reopening of tourism

(Kaua’i) – Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami announced Tuesday that Gov. David Ige has signed Kauai’s Emergency Rule 16, which would permit visitors at participating resorts to leave their hotel rooms to utilize the resort’s property, including pools and on-site restaurants, during their mandatory quarantine period. But there’s a catch: They’ve got to agree to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, which will be tracked by participating resorts.

Kauai gets OK to use resort bubbles for a limited reopening of tourism

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Allison Schaefers. Eric Gill, Unite Here Local 5 financial secretary-treasurer, issued a statement questioning why the state was 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,” Gill said. “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.”

For Hotels, Cleaning Is Key. But Cleaners Say Their Jobs Are Under Assault.

(New York Times) – By Tariro Mzezewa. The hotel industry says doing away with daily room cleanings keeps guests and staff safe. But housekeepers say it is a step toward cutting earnings and job security.

Union shares Hawaii hotel safety inspection results

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Allison Schaefers. Unite Here Local 5 has started inspecting hotels for COVID-19 safety and health protocols and publishing the results.