Scores of employees to be laid off at Waikiki hotel

Scores of employees to be laid off at Waikiki hotel
The Modern Honolulu

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 78 workers at the Modern Honolulu have received pink slips as the property seeks to convert into a timeshare.

“They don’t give a damn about people who are working hard ― especially for families that have a lot of kids," said Florence, a hotel worker for nine years.

“(I am) pissed off, mad, furious, everything.”

The union for the affected employees said they come from a number of departments, including housekeeping, in-room dining, reservations and the pool.

The workers were told their positions would be eliminated within the next 30 days.

A spokesperson with Diamond Resorts, which owns Modern Honolulu, said it didn’t take the decision to lay off staff lightly. The company said laid off employees were offered severance packages.

“We want to make sure they have support as they transition to new careers and we will be here for them through that process as we convert the property into a vacation ownership resort,” the spokesperson said.

Jack Krause, a bar attendant at the Modern who’s being laid off, responded to the company’s statement with this: “Severance isn’t a job. I just want to work."

Krause said getting laid off will cause financial hardships for him and his girlfriend, who’s still in law school.

“Her student loans, our regular,every day bills, they’re piling up. It’s becoming increasingly hard to make a living in Hawaii," he said.

Local 5, the union for the employees, said it’s filed federal complaints about unfair labor practices in the wake of the announced layoffs.

“When tourism is our #1 industry, we need to ask ourselves: which companies are benefiting Hawaii’s people and which ones are hurting us? Timeshares have shown over and over again that they hurt Hawaii more than they help," said Gemma Weinstein, president of UNITE HERE Local 5.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.