Aloha United Way 211
Information and referral
Labors Community Services Program (Aloha United Way/AFL-CIO)
Food baskets, diapers, general assistance (Complete Application Form at Strike Headquarters)
Catholic Charities Hawaii Help line 521-4357
Walk in office: 1822 Keeaumoku St. M – F 9 – 12 & 1:30 – 3:30
Housing, counseling & emergency assistance
Employee Assistance of the Pacific (808) 597-8222 (or toll-free 877-597-8222)
Counseling services (covered by Local 5 Health & Welfare Trust Fund)
Helping Hands Hawaii 440-3835
Emergency financial assistance with rent and utilities
Hawaii Foodbank, Inc.
2611-A Kilihau Street
Honolulu, HI 96819
Phone: (808) 836-3600 or 275-2000
Email: [email protected]
Dial 211 and ask for a food pantry in your area
Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP)
33 S. King St. #300
Family and emergency services, produce food distribution
State of Hawaii Department of Health and Human Services Public Assistance Information Line: 1-855-643-1643
Food stamp and financial assistance processing centers
Unemployment Compensation Insurance
Claim benefits for unemployment compensation will not be automatic. The State of Hawaii Department of Labor will make the determination of eligibility for unemployment compensation. Computers are available at Strike Headquarters to FILE ONLINE: http://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/
Paying the Bills
Credit due to Vendors
1. Where possible, you should make at least a minimum payment. If you are unable to make the minimum payment, be sure to contact your creditor immediately to work out a repayment plan. Some of the options include reduced payments or deferred payments.
2. If you are not able to make any payments, the vendor may report the incident to credit rating agencies. Such reports will note that the individual is on strike.
Most utility companies will allow you to make special arrangements on payment. This is done on an individual basis and it is very important that you contact the utility company if you are unable to make payments.
The following are contact numbers for the various utility companies on Oahu:
HECO 548-7311 Hawaiian Telcom 643-3456
Spectrum Cable 855-369-8209 Hawaii Gas 535-5933
First Hawaiian Bank 844-4444
(Customer Service will direct you to the appropriate department)
Hotel & Travel Industry Federal Credit Union 942-5115
Chanda at ext. 223 or Normita at ext. 228
Bank of Hawaii 1-888-643-3888
Bill Payment Information
Individuals who will be unable to make payment on any bill during the strike period should immediately contact their creditors.
It is best to contact them in writing so that there is a physical record of contact in your files. A written record may be important if legal problems emerge later. Inform creditors that you are member of UNITE HERE! Local 5 and are on strike and would like to discuss a repayment plan. A sample letter that you can follow is attached for your reference. If you do not hear back from the creditor within two weeks, you may need to follow up by phone.
It is best to notify your creditors before you get behind. Creditors are usually easier to work with when you let them know about your situation before a severe problem arises.
It is important that you pay what you can. Even if you cannot pay the creditors the amount they want, make your best effort to pay something regularly. This holds arrears as low as possible and lets the creditor know that you are doing all you can. Continuous partial payment may keep your account from being turned over to a collection agency.
It is also important to stay in touch with your creditors. After the initial contact, continue to contact them every two weeks. This reassures the creditor, shows a responsible attitude toward your obligation, and may keep the creditor from hounding you.
Most creditors will generally be able to work out a solution to deal with late payments, providing that the striking customer has both an acceptable credit rating and was not in arrears when the strike commenced. More detailed information is listed below.
1. Mortgage loans are usually tied to other national organizations or sold to other national lending companies over which the original lending company has no control. Thus, even if the mortgage loan was originally made with a local financial institution, the terms on such mortgage loans cannot be modified at the discretion of the local financial institution. The national organizations are not likely to make special arrangements for our local members on strike.
2. The mortgage companies, however, will generally NOT foreclose on a striking individual if the individual has a good repayment record and was not in arrears when the strike commenced.
3. Strikes are generally regarded much like a natural disaster, both are temporary and not
indicative of a person’s willingness or ability to make payments.
4. Should payments not be made after approximately sixty days, lending companies are obligated to report the problem to the state credit bureau. Such reports, however, will be footnoted to indicate that the individual is on strike.
5. Mortgage loans cannot be extended or deferred. You will be required to make up payments after a strike. Be sure to contact your loan company to set up a repayment plan.
All Other Loans Through Banks and or Credit Unions
1. Most financial institutions indicated that if an individual is unable to make payment, a solution could be worked out. Options available include loan extension and refinancing. Solutions will vary depending on your financial history and the particular company you are dealing with.
2. Loan extension – You can ask your lender for an extension of your loan repayment beyond the original contract deadline. If an extension is granted, you will be required to pay interest on your outstanding loan balance while you are on strike, with interest charges added to your total repayment amount, payable during the extension period.
3. Refinancing – It may be to your benefit to ask to have your loan refinanced, in effect paying off your old loan with a new one – with the payment period extended. Whether the new loan has a higher or lower interest rate will depend on the terms of your existing loan and the current interest rates prevailing at the time of refinancing.
4. In general, the financial institutions agree that a customer who has a good payment record, and who contacts the lending company in advance to discuss strike-related problems, will find lenders to be flexible and understanding of the unique situation caused by a strike.
Sample Letter to Creditors
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am a UNITE HERE! Local 5 hotel worker in the State of Hawaii and need your help. Although, every effort is being made to settle the hotel contract with (EMPLOYERS NAME), there is a very real possibility that UNITE HERE! Local 5 hotel workers will be forced to go on strike. During the strike period, my employer will not pay workers who are out on strike.
I have a (LOAN/CREDIT CARD BALANCE/OUTSTANDING BALANCE) with your institution and would like to work out an alternate payment plan should the hotel workers go out on strike. My account number is (ACCOUNT NUMBER) and the current outstanding balance is $______. Please contact me at the address below or at ( ) ___-______ to let me know what options are available.
Going on strike is not something UNITE HERE Local 5 workers would choose to do if the situation we face in our profession was not so dire. We appreciate every effort you can make to accommodate us during this difficult time. We are fighting for our family’s future in Hawaii.
(PRINT NAME AND ADDRESS)