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Hyatt Regency Waikiki workers staging one-day strike

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:14 a.m. HST, Sep 2, 2010

 Workers at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki are staging a one-day strike today, saying that talks with management have gone nowhere.

The protest began at 3:30 a.m. and will last until about 9:30 p.m., according to Cade Watanabe, community and political organizer for the UNITEHERE! Local 5 union, which represents 501 workers at the hotel on Kalakaua Avenue.

Workers authorized the "limited duration strike" last week, he said this morning.

Watanabe said it is one of many pre-Labor Day protests nationally against Hyatt. He said the company is trying to subcontract union jobs and "ship jobs out of state," including in the accounting department, even though it is doing well financially. "We're trying to preserve good quality jobs," he said.

Hyatt executives have pursued contract negotiations in good faith for nearly a year, according to a hotel statement released today.

"While we have come to expect a certain amount of union posturing during negotiations, we are disappointed that rather than engaging in productive negotiations at the bargaining table … the union is choosing instead to once again disrupt business in Oahu," the statement said. "This delay in negotiations and work stoppage can only have a destructive result for our employees, our guests, and the economy."

The union has staged two other protests against the hotel this summer, including on July 22 when dozens of union members and their supporters were arrested for blocking traffic in Waikiki.

Watanabe said workers will be back on the job at 10 p.m.

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