Local 5 strike interrupts Hilton's business - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local 5 strike interrupts Hilton's business

Lorraine Troutner Lorraine Troutner
Luciana Dupion Luciana Dupion
Deborah Tabar Deborah Tabar
Lisa Kubota (on left) interviews Kaleo Aarona (on right) Lisa Kubota (on left) interviews Kaleo Aarona (on right)
Ryan Endean Ryan Endean

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Frustrated hotel workers walked off the job before the sun came up.

The picket lines caused delays for vehicles trying to enter and exit the property. The noisy protest also served as a wake up call for some guests.

"We heard all this commotion going on and you could hear all the loud shouts from the strikers," Hilton Hawaiian Village Guest Lorraine Troutner said.

The move comes about a month after unite here Local 5 members voted to authorize a strike.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village has about 1,500 union workers including cooks, housekeepers and front desk staff. They say sticking points include staff cuts, reduced hours and subcontracting.

"Blackstone, who owns Hilton, now took $180 million in taxpayers money for bailout and promised to create new jobs," Hilton employee Luciana Dupion said.

The union accuses the Hilton of trying to force workers into cheap recession contracts at a time when the hotel industry is recovering.

"We're defending our jobs here. We want good quality jobs. We wanna maintain our health benefits and our pension," Hilton employee Deborah Tabar said.

Members say they're sticking together with union workers in other cities.

"Us being together with other cities is very good as far as the union is concerned, for solidarity. My brothers and sisters are hurting, and we're hurting, we're backing each other up. That's what unions are all about," Hilton employee Kaleo Aarona said.

The workers plan to go back to their jobs on Tuesday.

 For some guests that day can't come soon enough.  

"I  just hope that the hotel comes to an agreement with these guys soon so that we can get back to enjoying our vacation," Sacramento visitor Ryan Endean said.

"It hurts our guests and I'm sorry for that, but we gotta do what we gotta do," Aarona said.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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