Sun. 3/22/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

IMPORTANT: Local 5 office is closed as of tomorrow (Mon. 3/23/20), but we will continue to serve our members

Due to the recent COVID-19 Stay at Home order issued by Honolulu Mayor Caldwell’s office, we are requesting that you do not come to the Local 5 office to file for Unemployment Insurance starting tomorrow (Mon. 3/23/20).

We are working with DLIR to create a separate website just for Local 5 members to register for unemployment. The DLIR is hoping to have the website up as soon as possible. Once that website goes live, we will text blast the link to everyone.

Once you have successfully registered and filed, please call Local 5 at 808-941-2141 for additional instructions regarding the weekly claims certification process.

If you are not able to file for unemployment online, call us at 808-941-2141 and we will assign someone to assist you.


Local 5 has a community resources page on our website, which includes a list of 38 schools statewide that are providing grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to children who are 18 years or younger.

Our Local 5 website also has instructions on how to apply for unemployment, and other useful information. Check our website regularly for updates.


WATCH: City issues stay-at-home order for Oahu residents; says only essential workers can report (Hawaii News Now, March 22, 2020)

Honolulu Mayor Caldwell has ordered a stay at home policy effective tomorrow (Monday, March 23) at 4:30pm. It will last until Thursday, April 30. The order requires Honolulu residents to stay at home and work from home. The order applies to visitors, too. Exemptions include those considered “essential workers.”

Mayor Caldwell says hotel workers are deemed “essential workers”, but we strongly encourage our members on Oahu to talk to their managers and clarify if they should come in to work or not.

Critical labor union functions are also considered essential activities (e.g. the administration of health and welfare funds, personnel checking on the well-being and safety of members providing services in essential businesses provided that these checks be done by phone or remotely).

Only “essential” services or activities will be allowed. View the full text of the Mayor’s order here.

A similar state-level order from Governor Ige will come soon.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino issues stay at home, work from home order (Star Advertiser, Mrach 22, 2020)

Maui stay at home order is effective Wednesday, March 25 until Thursday, April 30.  Its rules are presumably similar to the Honolulu stay at home order, though there is no document of rules at time the time this was written. We will update this if that information becomes available.

Hawaii’s total cases of COVID-19 climbs to 56, health officials say (Hawaii News Now, March 22, 2020)

8 new cases today, bringing the total number in the state to 56. Oahu = 41, Maui = 9, Kauai = 3, Big Island = 3. 3 people are hospitalized with no deaths yet.

According to Mayor Caldwell, we have a little under 300 ICU hospital units statewide; Oahu has 200-something units. The actions being taken by Caldwell is to ensure the spread doesn’t spike and overwhelm Hawaii’s healthcare capacity.

Senate Democrats block movement on economic stimulus package citing ‘serious issues’ with bill (CNN, March 22, 2020)

Democrats are blocking a bill that Republicans are using to favor big corporations with bailouts and giveaways, and not enough for working families in America. With some senators quarantined due to COVID-19 and unable to vote in person (Senator Mitch McConnell has refused changes to rules to allow remote voting), the calculus for votes has changed from the GOP 53-47 advantage to 48-47. So the GOP needs a lot of bi-partisan votes for this bill.

This is a rare opportunity for Democrats to actually get good rules through that help working families, not just corporations. Although the bill is still in flux, it includes $500 billion to companies with little restrictions on how they use this money. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi isn’t keen on the Senate version and has her own bill with a $2 trillion price tag, around $250 billion for unemployment benefits, $350 billion small business loans designed to keep employees paid, etc.

UK government to pay 80% of wages for those not working in coronavirus crisis (The Guardian, March 20, 2020)

The British Government “would pay grants covering up to 80% of the salary of workers if companies kept them on their payroll, rather than lay them off as the economy crashes. The extraordinary payments will be worth up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, just above the median income.”