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Hyatt workers return to jobs after week-long strike

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:19 a.m. HST, Sep 15, 2011

Unionized Hyatt Regency Waikiki workers returned to their jobs this morning after a seven-day strike.

Unite Here! Local 5 workers walked off the job at 3 a.m. on Sept. 8.

The job action is part of a campaign in four cities -- Honolulu, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles -- against the hotel chain.

About 500 union workers -- including housekeepers, valets, front desk and food and beverage employees -- have been without a contract since June of last year.

Jerry Westenhaver, the general manager of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, said the hotel used non-union workers and management to serve guests during the strike.

"This work stoppage -- and the unfortunate loss of pay it caused our employees -- could have been avoided," he said. Westenhaver said the hotel has offered union workers the same wage and benefits package offered to Hilton employees in March. Hilton and Sheraton agreed to a new contract with Local 5.

The union says the main issue in the strike is the subcontracting of jobs. The union has also called for a boycott of the Hyatt.

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