POSTED: 9:24 p.m. HST, Mar 2, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:35 p.m. HST, Mar 3, 2011
Unionized workers at four Kyo-ya-owned hotels voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.
UNITE HERE Local 5 officials said 97 percent of those workers voting approved the strike authorization Wednesday.
The union and representatives for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which manages the hotels, haven't negotiated since December. Contracts for more than 6,000 Hawaii hotel workers expired on June 30.
UNITE HERE Local 5 represents about 2,200 workers at the Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
Darrell Asato, a waiter at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani said, "There's no doubt that we made a strong statement of solidarity today. Our yes vote is a strong indication that hotel workers in Hawaii are united behind the fight to secure good jobs for the future."
Angela Vento, Starwood Hotels and Resorts' regional director of sales and marketing for Hawaii and French Polynesia, said: "This latest action by the union does not affect our strong resolve to negotiate a fair and equitable contract at the bargaining table that would provide for the needs of our associates, our guests and our community alike."