HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 51-day strike by UNITE local 5 against five Marriot properties owned by Kyo-Ya here caused a lot of pain all around.
The 2,700 workers went more than seven weeks without pay, and their hotels were forced to make do without them, lost revenue and poor service alienated many visitors who had paid top dollar for their vacation in paradise.
In the end – the strikers seem to have done well – with about six dollars an hour in pay and benefit raises over the next four years.
Many more thousands of other hospitality workers here will also benefit from similar raises as other owners fight to keep their employees in a tight employment economy.
Some may feel concerned about the pressure this puts on our biggest industry.
But the industry needs to understand that Hawaii’s reputation for great customer service is not just an automatic feature of the aloha spirit. The workers whose smile means so much to our visitors also has value which deserves respect and fair compensation.