Businesses Relieved Picketing at Pacific Beach Hotel Ending - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Businesses Relieved Picketing at Pacific Beach Hotel Ending

Earl Yamamoto Earl Yamamoto
Lance Kamada Lance Kamada

By Minna Sugimoto

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- Labor groups and community members wrapped up their eight-day demonstration in front of the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki Tuesday.

Some businesses in the area feel they're innocent victims of the labor dispute, and say the end of picketing couldn't come soon enough.

Earl Yamamoto of Island Soap and Candle Works takes pride in creating products on-site. The problem is, since informational picketing in front of the Pacific Beach Hotel began a week ago, few people have seen his handiwork.

"It has brought down our decline in walk-in traffic, as well as sales," he said. "I would say roughly, approximately, about 30-percent."

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is urging people to boycott the hotel, saying management refuses to negotiate a contract.

Businesses near the vocal group of demonstrators say they've had to field questions from tourists.

"Sometimes, they come in and they complain to us saying, you know, you folks should do something about it," Yamamoto said. "And it's really hard because we're not, we're not part of the hotel."

Pacific Beach management has said it has no plans to meet with the union.

"What's the next step seeing as how the hotel hasn't come back to the bargaining table?" this reporter asked the picketers.

"Well, there's another Japan vacation period in August that, if they don't come back to the table, we're planning to do the same thing," Lance Kamada, picket organizer, said.

Yamamoto is relieved the eight-day demonstration is coming to an end.

"We're hoping that the business does pick up," he said. "A lot of times, people don't want to pass the picket line. Once that's gone, they may want to venture into the store more."

The union says it's exploring other ways to get the hotel to negotiate.

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