As striking workers walk picket lines for 5th day, hotels post ‘help wanted’ ads

Workers marched in Waikiki to urge the hotels to come to the table.
Striking hotel workers held a rally and march in Waikiki on Friday.
Striking hotel workers held a rally and march in Waikiki on Friday.
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 at 4:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Striking hotel workers held a march and rally in Waikiki on Friday morning, the fifth day of a strike that’s disrupted operations at five hotels in the islands.

Thousands of union workers at Kyo-ya hotels managed by Marriott marched to the Duke Kahanamoku statue, chanting as they progressed through Waikiki.

Some 2,700 hotel workers in Waikiki and on Maui are on strike, calling for better pay and benefits after their contract expired in June.

“We feel that we should be getting our fair share of the huge, massive profits that companies like Marriott make,” said Jason Murai, a Sheraton Princess Kaiulani telephone operator.

As the strike drags on, complaints from visitors have ratcheted up.

Some have taken to social media to say their dream Hawaii vacation has turned into a nightmare, with no open restaurants in their hotels and no housekeeping service.

Meanwhile, hotels are putting out “help wanted” posts, offering bonuses to anyone willing to cross the picket lines.

Facebook posts, for example, show the Princess Kaiulani is paying $23 an hour to relief workers with a $300 bonus after three days.

In a statement Friday, Kyo-ya said it has put in place contingency plans at the five affected hotels: Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and the Sheraton Maui.

“We understand that the demonstrations are causing some disruption,” Kyo-ya said. “We apologize for the inconvenience, and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our neighbors, the community, and our guests.”

Nerissa Acdal, who works in housekeeping at the Moana Surfrider, said it’s upsetting to see the hotels looking for temporary workers to fill-in for striking employees.

Jason Murai, a telephone operator at the Prince Kaiulani added, “we know that these temporary workers can not provide the service even near the service that we provide to the guests every day. We do our best to make sure the guests feel the aloha spirit that they want to come back year after year.”

This story will be updated.

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