Hotel workers vote to authorize strike
HONOLULU – UNITE HERE Local 5 hotel workers from six Marriott-operated hotels in Honolulu and Maui last week voted to authorize a strike with a 95 percent approval vote.
The strike authorization comes after months of negotiations with Marriott for contracts covering over 3,500 hotel workers.
Workers from six Marriott-operated hotels – Waikiki Beach Marriott, Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and Sheraton Maui – voted to authorize a strike.
“We want to come to an agreement with Marriott, but our members are preparing for a strike if contracts are not settled soon,” said Eric Gill, secretary/treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 5. “Our proposal is to make one job enough to live in Hawaii. Marriott’s proposal is to get another job.”
Laurie DeCoite, a PBX operator who has worked at the Sheraton Maui for 30 years, also voted to strike.
“Generations of my family have worked at the Sheraton Maui. Those who worked before went on strike so that we could enjoy the benefits we do today. Now, it’s our turn to make sure we protect what they won for future generations,” DeCoite said.
Workers are also fighting for job security by addressing issues like automation and technology, workplace safety, immigration and more.
Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care and food service industries. n
It 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.