POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 19, 2010
About two dozen Unite Here Local 5 members and community supporters, armed with brooms and cleaning supplies, made an impromptu visit yesterday to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, offering to help housekeepers.
The action comes less than a week after Hyatt housekeepers in seven other cities across the U.S. filed injury complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Local 5 has asked OSHA to recommend that Hyatt set reasonable room quotas and switch to fitted sheets and long-handled mops and dusters to cut down on worker injuries, said Cade Watanabe, a spokesman for the hotel worker's union.
The Rev. Sam Domingo, president of Faith Action for Community Equity on Oahu, said he would have helped the housekeepers clean yesterday if hotel management had not sent him and other volunteers home.
"We wanted to raise the issue of safety in the workplace," Domingo said.
A statement from the Hyatt said the resort cares deeply about the health and safety of its associates and that it is proud of its work environment. Union leaders have made false charges about Hyatt's work environment and have staged theatrics at its hotels, the Hyatt said.
"It is time for union leadership to make the negotiation of our associates' expired contracts their No. 1 priority, rather than perpetuating false claims about Hyatt's work environment," the statement said.