Hawaii unemployment filings in March top 160,000

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Allison Schaefers. “We’ve been getting calls from workers. Some of them say they have been trying every hour of every day,” said Bryant de Venecia, spokesman for the Unite Here Local 5 labor union. “We had one worker who began trying to apply on March 22 and only got in Monday, eight days later. The benefit is supposed to cover from the first day out of work, but timing can mean the difference between being able to eat or pay rent.”

Coronavirus batters US economy as 6.65m file for unemployment last week

(The Guardian) – By Dominic Rushe and Lauren Aratani. It has been over two weeks since Brandy Banaay was let go from her housekeeping job at the Doubletree Hotel Alana in Waikiki, Hawaii, yet the single mother of three has yet to successfully file for unemployment insurance. Whenever she tries to file on Hawaii’s website, it crashes.

Help available for Hawaii residents who can’t pay rent or mortgages in wake of coronavirus

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Andrew Gomes. Close to 100,000 Hawaii residents lost work this month, and for many the fear of losing their home has also arisen or may not be far off. The scary prospect is already real for Sheena Daquioag, a housekeeper at the Sheraton Waikiki who hasn’t been scheduled to work since the end of February.

Waikiki winds down

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Allison Schaefers. Aina Iglesias, a guest service agent for DoubleTree by Hilton Alana, said the property will suspend operations Wednesday, leaving her and most of her coworkers temporarily unemployed for at least 60 days. The property’s occupancy was as low as 5% the other day, Iglesias said. “On one hand, we don’t want to catch the virus. But how will I pay my rent and utilities?” Iglesias said.

Displaced hotel workers to staff Honolulu’s new COVID-19 test site for homeless patients

(KITV4) – By Annalise Burgos. Unite Here Local 5 Union is covering expenses for staffing the facility at a time when the hospitality industry is hurting. Other partners include Institute for Human Services and Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui.

Homeless coronavirus quarantine site in Iwilei expected to open next week

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) – By Dan Nakaso. Hotel workers from Unite Here! Local 5 went into the Kaamahu Place building Tuesday and Wednesday to clean up the 26 rooms that are capable of housing a total of 52 people and did other prep work like installing shower curtains, Manahan said.