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Hilton and Unite Here reach agreement on new contract

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 8:58 p.m. HST, Mar 7, 2011

Hilton Hawaiian Village union workers and the hotel have agreed on a tentative contract, Unite Here Local 5, the hotel worker’s union announced today.

Unionized workers will vote on the contract tomorrow, said Local 5 Spokesman Cade Watanabe. Details of the contract, which has yet to be ratified, will be released during a press conference at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village tomorrow, Watanabe said.

Roughly 1,500 union workers are employed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They include housekeepers, bellmen, front desk, valets and food service workers.

“This is good for workers and for Hilton,” Watanabe said, adding that the union had staged several work actions to prod negotiations following the contracts expiration on June 30.

Workers went out on a 5-day strike in October and one month later briefly with the support International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans took over the resort's lobby during a two-hour rally to demonstrate their unhappiness with the progress of labor talks.

Ratification of this contract could set a positive precedent since the Hilton Hawaiian Village is the largest single hotel property that Local 5 represents in Hawaii and it is Hilton’s largest hotel worldwide, Watanabe said.

The union also has reached agreements at Hilton in Chicago and San Francisco, he said.

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