Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hawaii Care & Cleaning (HCC) workers ratify union contracts

Press Release for July 10, 2019

Media Contacts:
Paola Rodelas
Cell Phone: (808) 333-4782

Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024

Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hawaii Care & Cleaning (HCC) workers ratify union contracts

These agreements brings workers closer to making one job enough to live in Hawaii

(Honolulu) – UNITE HERE Local 5 members who work at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hawaii Care & Cleaning (HCC), a subcontracted cleaning company that does housekeeping work at the hotel, voted overwhelmingly to ratify union contracts that cover nearly 2,000 workers.

The negotiating committees, which are 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. These are four-year agreement that expire on June 30, 2022.

The Hilton agreement is modeled after the contract agreement that was reached on November 27 with Kyo-ya, which own five Marriott-operated in hotels in Waikiki and Maui. Beginning in October 18, 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.

In addition, the Hilton agreement includes historic provisions that benefit timeshare workers, setting a standard for timeshare workers across Hawaii’s tourism industry. Kyo-ya’s properties in Hawaii do not have timeshares, so these terms were not part of the Marriott agreement.

HCC workers also received significant wage and benefits increases and will have the option to be hired in-house by Hilton before the end of the contract. The union has been working to eliminate subcontracted housekeeping work in the hotel for 20 years. “This contract will really help my family. My fiance and I both work at HCC. Because of this new contract, my family will have $1,400 more per month starting in January because of the free medical coverage that HCC workers will finally get. Having a job that is more secure with paid medical and a retirement is a dream come true,” says Cesilee Linares, who works at HCC.

Because of the solidarity and support of the Hilton and HCC workers, 80 workers at the DoubleTree Hilton Alana Waikiki became members of Local 5 on May 25. This continues a trend of growth for Local 5 and union membership in Hawaii. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hawaii’s union representation increased to 23.1% in 2018.

“We worked together to push the cart up the hill to win a good contract that brings us closer to making one job enough to live in Hawaii. It was not only the Hilton workers who worked together, but workers from HCC, DoubleTree, and the Kyo-ya members who went on strike so that all of our hotels can benefit from their fight,” says Lawrene Kanoa, a front desk worker at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Collective bargaining agreements at 20 Local 5 hotels expired in 2018. Eight Marriott-operated hotels have already settled, making the Hilton Hawaiian Village and HCC the 9th and 10th contracts settled. 10 hotel contracts have been settled, covering over 5,000 hotel workers. 10 more hotel contracts remain open and the “One Job Should Be Enough” campaign continues—for Local 5 members and the broader community.

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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