Unions show support for Marriott hotel workers on strike
By Craig T. Kojima
October 10, 2018
Strikers block parking entrance at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani on Tuesday. Unions representing sheet metal workers, flight attendants and public service employees took steps to support the 2,700 Marriott hotel workers in Hawaii who were on their second day of a strike for higher wages and better benefits.
Workers at the Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui began picketing early Monday as contract negotiations, which started in June, reached an impasse.
While it’s too early to say how much the strike will dampen Hawaii tourism, it’s already cost the state some business.
At the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, tables had only a few diners in the early afternoon.
At the Sheraton Waikiki, the hotel had a message for hotel guests about the strike.
A sign on the RumFire door saying it was closed on Tuesday.
At the Sheraton Waikiki, a bridal couple makes it way past a long line of arriving hotel guests.
At the Sheraton Waikiki, a hula dancer danced for a long line of hotel guests lining up to register.
Given the strong years hotels have been having, the workers are asking for more pay, more job security and safer working conditions.
The hotel workers say they hope to keep adequate pension and health funds and to start a fund to make housing more affordable.
Lilibeth Herrell, an organizer for Union 5, led strikers at Sheraton Waikiki on Tuesday.
The average Local 5 housekeeper makes roughly $22 an hour in a state where the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that it takes more than $35 an hour to afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment.
Hotel workers put up pickets at Sheraton Waikiki on Tuesday.