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Monday, September 01, 2014         

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Union, hotels reach agreement

The tentative deal gives wage increases and preserves benefits for workers at six hotels

By Star-Advertiser staff

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Unite Here Local 5 reached a tentative three-year agreement with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts that preserves union workers' benefits and provides a wage increase.

The new contract, which affects 2,800 union workers at six Starwood-managed hotels on Oahu, Maui and Kauai, comes just one week after the union settled with Hilton Hawaii. Union workers at the Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Kauai, Sheraton Maui, Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian and Princess Kaiulani have been working without a new contract since June 30.

The contract keeps in place comprehensive family and retiree health and welfare coverage and offers workers a wage increase retroactive to July 1.

The package also includes employer contribution increases that protect pension benefits for future and current retirees.

Workers will vote on the contract through Friday .

"Now that we have resolved differences between union and management, we can all concentrate on doing what we do best — taking care of our guests," said Eric Gill, financial secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 5.

Ernest Nishizaki, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, said, "I would like to extend my personal thanks and appreciation to Eric Gill and his bargaining team for their willingness to negotiate fair and equitable contracts in good faith.

"Our associates are the heart of our ohana and the lifeblood of our business, and our philosophy has always been to provide them with wages and benefits that are among the best in Hawaii's hotel industry," Nishizaki added.

"We have accomplished that."

Stella Galon, a housekeeper at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, said in a news release sent by the union, "I'm proud of our union and our members for standing strong to defend and maintain our current medical and pension benefits in an agreement that will also ensure that we're not left behind as our industry continues to rebound."

With the signing of contracts at the Hilton and Starwood hotels, the last remaining major hotel contract still being negotiated in Hawaii is with the Hyatt hotels.






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