Local 5 (Hawaii) wins contract with Starwood and Hilton

NYHTC — June 07, 2011

On March 14, Local 6's sister union in Hawaii, Local 5 Unite Here, agreed to a three-year contract with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, after workers voted to authorize a strike. The contract covers 2,800 union members at the Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Maui and Sheraton Kauai.

The workers voted on March 18, to ratify the contract by a margin of 99%.

The agreement includes significant wage increases retroactive to July 1, 2010, and major increases in employer contributions needed to protect health and pension benefits.

A deal was reached when it became clear that a strike was imminent. Godfrey Maeshiro, a bell captain at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser, "We thought we were going out on strike this past week... We had picket lines set up and we finished all the signs on Thursday. Our army was ready."

On March 8, 1,500 Local 5 members overwhelmingly ratified a similar deal at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Until recently, 6,000 Local 5 members at twenty-four hotels across Hawaii had been working without contracts since June 30, 2010, when previous agreements expired.

The union's contract fight with the industry has been a brilliant success. Now, the only remaining shop without a contract is the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort.

Schaefers, Allison. Contract agreement satisfies unionized hotel workers. Honolulu Star Advertiser. March 16, 2011.

Chiem, Linda. Starwood Hawaii workers ratify new three-year contract. Pacific Business News. March 18, 2011.