As they gear up for contract talks, hundreds of hotels workers rally in Waikiki

As they gear up for contract talks, hundreds of hotels workers rally in Waikiki
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of unionized Hilton Hawaii Village workers rallied in Waikiki on Friday, calling for better pay and benefits.

The workers held signs and banners on both sides of Kalia Road that read, “One job should be enough."

“We can’t afford to be losing jobs in Hawaii so we have to make these jobs much better,” said Hilton Hawaiian Village employee Mike McGurn. “Hotel workers are one big community in Hawaii.”

UNITE HERE Local 5 represents 1,800 workers at the Waikiki resort, the largest hotel in the islands and the largest Hilton in the world.

They said the rally comes amid contract negotiations with the hotel.

The contract for Local 5 workers at the hotel expired in July 2018, and talks are set to resume March 22.

Hilton Hawaiian Village said in a statement that it’s confident upcoming negotiations will deliver an “agreement that is fair to our valued team members.”

In all, Local 5 collective bargaining agreements expired at 20 Hawaii hotels in 2018. Union officials said eight have been settled and 12 more remain.

Some 2,700 Local 5 workers at five Hawaii hotels went on strike last year for 51 days, the second-longest work stoppage ever in Hawaii’s hotel industry.

This story will be updated.

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