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Hospitality workers march through Waikiki calling on hotels to bring them back

Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers joined thousands of employees who rallied across the nation...
Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers joined thousands of employees who rallied across the nation and Canada on Thursday.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 9:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of hospitality workers marched through Waikiki, demanding that their employers resume full operations.

Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers joined thousands of employees who rallied across the nation and Canada on Thursday.

Union members said the demonstration is part of an effort called “Striketober,” in which workers are calling out employers for taking advantage of staff during the pandemic.

The union said hotels have been at full capacity for months, but fewer than 70% of the workforce has been brought back.

“They’re looking to cut back reducing man-force in hotels by 20% to 40% to increase the bottom line,” said Ken Prohaska, an employee at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

“But it doesn’t help all of us who have been out of work for the last year and a half, and stayed there to support the hotels coming back. They’re not supporting us coming back.”

Another problem workers are facing is some hotels automatically opting guests out of daily housekeeping.

The union said eliminating this service would cut up to 39% of all US hotel housekeeping jobs and cost housekeepers $4.8 billion in annual lost wages.

Meanwhile, similar rallies were also held in Lahaina and Kona.

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