UNITEHERE! Local 5
Press Release for April 1, 2022
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
Queen Kapiolani Hotel workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize strike, with 97% ‘YES’ votes
In 2018, Local 5 won the Waikiki Standard after a victorious 51-day strike.
Today, Queen Kapiolani hotel workers say, “It’s our time.”
(Honolulu, Hawaii) – UNITE HERE Local 5 members at Queen Kapiolani Hotel voted to authorize a strike, with 97% “YES” votes. The contract between the union and the company expired in 2018
“We are really behind from the rest of Waikiki,” said Theresa Trimmer, front desk supervisor at Queen Kapiolani for 20 years. She added, “We work just as hard and deserve the same respect. We’ve waited since 2018 to get a better contract.”
Amidst the pandemic, the occupancy at Queen Kapiolani hotel remained high, but wages and benefits have stagnated for the last four years. Housekeepers at the hotel reported heavy workloads—up to 17 rooms per shift compared to the 14 rooms that the rest of the housekeepers in most Local 5 Waikiki hotels clean.
“We are underpaid and overworked. Queen Kapiolani is a pet-friendly hotel, so the guest rooms are significantly harder to clean. We want a contract that addresses the workload issues and provides the wages and benefits we deserve.” said Christina Beltran, another housekeeper.
Lenie Rivera, a housekeeper at Queen Kapiolani added, “We will go on strike if this is the only way to move forward. We will not allow management to treat us like second-class workers anymore.”
Just last week, UNITE HERE Local 5 reached a tentative agreement with Waikiki Resort Hotel. The previous contract also expired in 2018. Collective bargaining agreements between the Local 5 and the big hotel properties like Hilton, Kyo-ya/Marriott, and Hyatt are set to expire in June 2022, affecting more than 5,000 hotel workers. If called, a strike by Queen Kapiolani workers will be Hawaii’s first hotel workers strike in years.
“Hospitality workers have suffered throughout the pandemic. We will not accept being made to suffer more now that business is coming back. Queen Kapiolani workers are standing together to show that we will not accept anything less than a contract that protects our jobs, our families, and our future. Their willingness to fight is a wake-up call for all hotel workers. It is also a warning to hotel owners and managers: Don’t try to use the pandemic excuse to attack Hawaii workers. We will fight to defend our jobs and protect our community.” said Eric Gill, UNITE HERE Local 5’s Financial Secretary-Treasurer.
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 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.
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