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Royal Kona Resort Workers to Rally on Hawai‘i Island

April 10, 2018, 12:04 PM HST (Updated April 10, 2018, 12:06 PM)
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Royal Kona Resort workers who work in housekeeping, food and beverage, engineering, the front desk and others will rally to demand good, quality jobs at the resort on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., UNITE HERE Local 5 announced on Tuesday, April 10.

Nearly 200 workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 5 have been without a union contract for over a year.

Management’s proposal could jeopardize their benefits, according to the UNITE HERE press release.

Royal Kona Resort are expected to rally in front of the resort wearing red shirts and chanting with picket signs.

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“When the hotel was struggling, workers agreed to only a small increases to pay and benefits, neither of which met the Local 5 standard,” said Maggie Larson, who has worked at the Royal Kona Resort housekeeping department for 27 years. “Now, room occupancy levels are high and the hotel is doing very well, but management continues to keep us behind. We need good, quality jobs in Kona and all of Big Island. We don’t want to be treated like second-class citizens.”

Work safety is another key issue that the workers want to address, but management has refused, said UNITE HERE.

Housekeepers at the Royal Kona Resort clean 17 rooms per shift, while housekeepers at other union hotels clean only 15 rooms, at most, said UNITE HERE. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hotel workers experience higher injury rates than coal miners.

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On March 19, 95% of the workers voted to authorize a strike, sending a strong message of unity. Although the workers will not be going on strike on Wednesday, the workers have not ruled this out as a possibility in the future.

The Royal Kona Resort, located on Kahakai Road is Kailua-Kona, is owned by Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts, which is based in California.

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