On day 22 of Hawaii hotel strike, union says negotiations are progressing

The ruckus is ruining the vacation for some, but not all.

On day 22 of Hawaii hotel strike, union says negotiations are progressing
Drums are among the many noise makers strikers are using. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Monday marks the 22nd day of the hotel workers strike in Waikiki and Maui.

The union said negotiations held over the weekend led to some agreements, including on issues that involved banquets, restaurants, bars, bell and valet services.

Union representatives said they also had a “breakthrough” in discussions about subcontracting, but they’re still negotiating issues like housekeeping and automation.

Talks are expected to continue Monday and Tuesday.

Since the strike began on Oct. 8, workers have stood their ground on the picket lines demanding better wages and benefits — and the picketers are making sure their message is heard loud and clear.

“Of course there are people who are irritated by the noise, but there are also a lot of people that support us,” Jason Murai said.

From gas cans to laundry detergent bottles and drums, picketers are causing a noisy commotion for their cause.

“If they have a complaint about noise, they can complain to the company because if they would just settle our contract we wouldn’t be out here,” Murai said.

Some visitors didn’t see the need for the noise, saying the ruckus has ruined their vacation.

“Do we have to listen to this. Our rooms not cleaned. Do we have to wait for a towel or you don’t get a towel... that’s not a holiday,” visitor Kayem Bronwyn said.

Others are more understanding.

“I mean it is really loud, right? and our rooms weren’t cleaned but at the end of the day, I understand what they are going through and I understand that their problems are bigger than my vacation," Linda Ereikad said.

The workers' union, UNITE Here Local 5, says it’s working closely with HPD to follow city noise ordinances.

The union represents the roughly 2,700 workers on strike from the five Kyo-ya operated hotels.

Workers are demanding an increase in hourly wage by $3 while Kyo-ya is offering 70 cents more.

Workers are also wanting an increase of job security in light of fears that automated hotel services will lead to the reduction of positions needed.

So far, there has been no indication that either side will back down.

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