Mon. 6/1/20: COVID-19 Update


Our next Facebook Live Town Hall is this Wednesday, June 3 at 5:00pm featuring Local 5 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Eric Gill, Hawaii State Senator Laura Thielen, and two frontline hospitality workers who work in the hotel industry and Honolulu Airport.

Our elected officials and corporate executives push forward on reopening Hawaii business and tourism, yet have done little to prioritize the frontline workers who keep these businesses running. The Hawaii State Legislature decided to put over $1.6 billion in state and federal funding into a “rainy day” fund rather than healthcare coverage, unemployment benefits, or other services that could help hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents and their families.

Over 700 frontline workers at HMS Host who work at Honolulu Airport, Lihue Airport, and Kahului Airport will lose their medical coverage on June 4, as the state prepares to end the quarantine for inter-island travel.

This is money that could also be used to pay for the testing of visitors and frontline workers to ensure that our communities are kept safe from COVID-19.

Watch the Town Hall live: share your questions and concerns about reopening Hawaii, the future of Hawaii’s working class, public health and safety, and more.


Pandemic Job Losses In Hawaii Curb Cash Flow To Families Abroad – Honolulu Civil Beat

Many Hawaii workers, including our Local 5 members, send money to support family living abroad. According to the World Bank, these global remittances are expected to fall 20% because of COVID-19.

This article features two Local 5 members: Sheraton Maui worker Celia Arcilla and Sheraton Waikiki worker Judith Ramirez.

Special food distribution for laid-off hotel workers – KITV 4

Kaiser Permanente distributed fresh produce and food to over 500 Local 5 families on Sunday, May 31. “Many Kaiser Permanente employees at Moanalua Medical Center and facilities across the state are also represented by Local 5 so it is especially gratifying to see union brothers and sisters helping each other,” said Eric Gill, Unite Here Local 5’s Financial Secretary-Treasurer.

The Conversation: Preparing For Tourism’s Return – Hawaii Public Radio

Our Financial Secretary-Treasurer Eric Gill spoke with Hawaii Public Radio this morning about keeping all workers safe and healthy as the state and tourism industry push to reopen.

VIDEO: Gov. David Ige to lift interisland travel quarantine on June 16 – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Governor Ige announced that the 14-day interisland travel quarantine will be lifted for Hawaii residents on June 16.

Packed but peaceful: Black Lives Matter protesters take to streets of Oahu – Hawaii News Now

Black Lives Matter protests took place in Honolulu last Friday and Saturday. A vigil to honor the Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd was organized on Sunday.

No, We Should Not Condemn Uprisings Against Police Murders Like George Floyd’s – Jacobin

Excerpt: “If you care about looting, turn your eyes to the militaries, the police, the pharmaceutical companies, the private equity ghouls, the landlords, the real estate speculators, and the billionaires. And demand that a world once looted from the vast majority be now returned to them.”

Exclusive: U.S. taxpayers’ virus relief went to firms that avoided U.S. taxes – Reuters

Excerpt: “In all, Reuters’ analysis of public data found around 110 publicly traded companies have each received $4 million or more in emergency aid from the program.

Of those subject to taxes, 12 of the companies recently used offshore havens to cut their tax bills, the analysis found. All together, these 12 received more than $104 million in loans from U.S. taxpayers. Seven of them paid no U.S. tax at all for the past year.”

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 6.2M (+100k).  Deaths: 375k (+4k).
USA: Cases: 1.8M (+20k).  Deaths: 105k (+1k).  Total Tested: 17.3M (+400k).
Hawaii: Cases:  652 (+0).  Deaths: 17 (+0).  Hospitalized: 83 (+1). Recovered: 608 (+0).