Workers picketing in Waikiki against outsourcing of concierge jobs

Updated: Jan. 26, 2018 at 9:54 AM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of Local 5 union members and hotel workers are picketing in Waikiki on Friday against outsourcing of jobs.

They're standing up for concierge workers at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel after owner Kyo-ya Hotel and Resorts announced in October that it would subcontract its concierge work to another company called Pleasant Holidays.

"We are very disappointed in the decision that has been made by our ownership to outsource our concierge desk to a travel desk," said Wendy Nagaishi, head concierge for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. "We've had the concierge desk for almost 30 years now."

Concierge workers are asking for their jobs to remain intact.

Local 5 members who work at Kyo-ya's four Waikiki hotels – Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani – are also picketing and not going to work.

"If they're subcontracting out these people, who's next? Will it be us? Will it be one of our other departments? We don't know," said Local 5 member Jean Teo-Gibney.

Kyo-ya issued a statement about the partnership, saying that 42 employees were offered three choices: to join Pleasant Holidays with greater compensation, apply to transfer to a vacant position within the Kyo-ya hotel network, or receive a generous severance package.

"At our hotels, there will be no loss of concierge services. We are confident that our partnership with Pleasant Holidays will allow us to continue to provide the highest level of service our guests have come to expect from our properties," the statement said.

Workers will be picketing until 6 p.m.

This story will be updated.

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