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ILWU optimistic for Pacific Beach Hotel workers

    2012 NOVEMBER 9 BSN Pacific Beach Hotel press conference. Douglas Kometani,left, head doorman, and Keith Kanaiaupuni, bellman, and negotiating committee member in front of hotel. SA photo by Craig T. Kojima

Unionized employees at the Pacific Beach Hotel said they are “thankful” and “excited” about a new management company hired to assume day-to-day operations of the hotel.

All will be retained by the new management, said Geri Williams-Fitts, vice president of human resources for Highgate Hotels L.P.

Employees Doug Kometani and Kapena Kanaiaupuni spoke with reporters following a joint appearance this morning by the union and Highgate.

ILWU members and HTH Corp., the hotel’s owner, have been embroiled in acrimonious legal battles since 2002, when workers first began efforts to organize into a collective bargaining unit.

Highgate, with corporate offices in New York City, Dallas, and London, will officially assume management of the property within “upcoming weeks,” Williams-Fitts, said.

The union has “90 percent” of a new contract negotiated with the hotel’s ownership and Dave Mori, ILWU Oahu division director is optimistic about the rest of the contract issues being resolved with Highgate quickly.

Highgate has “collaborative co-existence” at “most locations” in its hotel portfolio, Williams-Fitts said.

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