Waikoloa Beach Marriott Workers Ratify Union Contract
UNITE HERE Local 5 members who work at Waikoloa Beach Marriott voted overwhelmingly on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, to ratify a union contract that covers over 250 workers.
The contract is modeled after the contract agreement that was reached on Nov. 27, 2018, with Kyo-ya, which owns five Marriott-operated hotels. Beginning in October 2018, nearly 2,700 workers at the five hotels went on strike for 51 days with the demand that one job should be enough to live in Hawai‘i.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott workers did not go on strike because their union contract did not expire until Dec. 31, 2018. But the “One Job Should Be Enough” message nevertheless resonated with Waikoloa Beach Marriott workers.
“Hotel workers on Big Island make less than Waikiki hotel workers, but we also struggle with the cost of living,” said Krystal Chinen, a utility steward at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. “Many of us can’t live on Kona side because it’s too expensive, so we commute for hours each day from the east side. One Job Should Be Enough to live in the cities where we work. This new union contract brings us closer to making that a reality and setting a good standard on Big Island. I’m thankful for the Kyo-ya workers who went on strike for 51 days. Their sacrifice is changing the lives of so many families for the better. We’re committed to continue this work to make one job enough.”
The new union contract includes job security; reductions in subcontracting of staff positions; worker involvement in the implementation of new technology and automation; a child/elder care fund; a reduction in workload for housekeepers; an increase in wages, an increase in pension contributions; and an increase in health and welfare contributions.
Collective bargaining agreements at 20 Local 5 hotels expired in 2018. With seven union contracts settled and 13 more hotel contracts remaining, the “One Job Should Be Enough” campaign continues. Local 5 now turns its attention to making one job enough for other hotel workers, other Local 5 members who work in healthcare and food service, and the broader community of working people.