Current Employees Express Opposition to Pacific Beach Picketing

Rep. Roy Takumi
Rep. Roy Takumi

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- More than a dozen state lawmakers grabbed picket signs and joined a labor demonstration in front of the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki Friday. But not every hotel worker supports the effort.

With handmade signs and a seemingly endless supply of energy, a group called Justice at the Beach marches for a 4th straight day.

Now joined by legislators, these community members and former Pacific Beach employees are calling for a boycott of the hotel.

"The hotel has not bargained in good faith, is not looking out for its employees, and they should be ashamed of themselves," Rep. Roy Takumi, (D) Pearl City, Pacific Palisades, said.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union says Pacific Beach management refuses to negotiate a contract, and has laid off about 30 workers with strong union ties.

"Eighteen years I worked over there," Arthuro Garay, laid off employee, said. "But I don't know what happened, how come they lose our job. Thirty people, no more job."

But current employees, such as head doorman Douglas Kometani, say they're upset by the picketing.

"I understand that they have a right to go and do this boycott," Kometani said. "But it's pretty sad. It's a sad day in general. You know, business is bad in general all around, so I don't really want to lose my job either."

Hotel management says it has no plans to meet with union officials, and hasn't even acknowledged them since December 1st.

"We see no resolution with this," John Lopianetzky, general manager, said. "We hope they stop the boycott. It's not going anywhere, and it's really unfortunate for all of the employees."

The demonstrators plan to continue picketing until next Tuesday, the end of Golden Week.