Federal government to take up Pacific Beach Hotel battle

Dave Mori
Dave Mori

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The Federal government has stepped into the fight against a Waikiki hotel, accused of allegedly mistreating its employees.

A formal complaint has been issued against Pacific Beach Hotel, which accuses the hotel of violating the legal rights of its workers.

After an eight month-long investigation, the National Labor Relations Board has agreed to hear the case.

The fierce legal battle at Pacific Beach Hotel is finally headed to court.

"It's an optimistic day for me because I'm hoping justice will be realized," said Virginia Recaido, a former Pacific Beach Hotel worker.

It has been eleven months since hotel workers and union ILWU started protesting and boycotting Pacific Beach.

Management change triggered mass layoffs right before Christmas. Hotel workers were told they'd be re-hired, but some were not.

"As a single mother, it's hard because right now, I have a son going to college. I needed the benefits," Recaido.

"It's frustrating sometimes especially since I have two kids waiting for me looking for me, asking, do you have a job now Daddy?" said Rhandy Villanueva, a former Pacific Beach Hotel worker.

Union reps say some workers who were offered their jobs back, got either a cut in hours, or a cut in pay. The root of the legal battle - whether or not ILWU still represents Pacific Beach Hotel workers.

If a judge sides with the union?

"That would mean they would have to reinstate the workers, would have to back pay people who were laid off and people who were given additional workloads," said Dave Mori, ILWU Oahu Division Director.

HTH Corporation manages the hotel. In a statement, HTH says:

"On July 10, 2008 an employee petition was given to me {Robert M. Minicola, Regional Vice President} with signatures of more than 200 of the 367 employees under the following statement: 'We, the employees of the Pacific Beach Hotel, do not want to join the ILWU Local 142 or any other union.' HTH looks forward to answering each of these allegations at the NLRB hearing. ."

The National Labor Relations Board has set the hearing for November 4th.