Business

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Workers Ratify New Deal

February 11, 2015, 12:49 PM HST
* Updated February 11, 12:50 PM
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Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort union hotel workers have voted yes on ratifying a new contract that will impact 288 workers and their families.

Ninety-nine percent of union workers votes yes on the ratification that, according to Unite Here Local 5, will help bring Hawai’i closer to providing jobs for everyone.

The new two-year contract will provide non-tipped workers at the Waikoloa Marriott a wage increase of $1.67 per hour over the next two years, including full back pay to July 1, 2014. Under these new terms, workers will receive $0.27 more than the first two years of the current industry’s standard five-year contract. These efforts assist in narrowing the gap between Waikoloa and Waikiki hotel wages.

“This is a much needed wage increase for us,” said Peter Pukuyama, an employee in the engineering department at Waikoloa Marriott for ten years. “This also helps secure our medical and pension benefits.”

In the contract, hotel management has agreed to increase its contribution to the health and welfare fund, which funds the medical and pension benefits of union workers.

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“It’s a step in the right direction so that we can catch up to the union standard that other Local 5 hotels have. We can achieve this if we all continue to stand together,” said Oren Yamagata, a bell captain who has been with the Waikoloa Marriott for 33 years.

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SMG I Hotel Waikoloa LLC recently purchased the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. The hotel is now owned by a joint venture between mainland hotel investment firms Silverwest Hotel Partners LLC, Mariner Real Estate Management, and an affiliate of Global Endowment Management. Through the change in ownership, the Marriott will continue to manage the hotel.

Additionally, the ownership change will not affect Local 5 members at Waikoloa Marriott, who with continue their employment with the company.

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