Marriott hotel workers in Hawaii entered day five of picketing by taking over a portion of Waikiki’s public beach during a strike action this morning.
About 1,000 Unite Here Local 5 strikers and sympathizers marched from the Sheraton Waikiki to the beach in front of the Westin Moana Surfrider where they stood in front of the hotel yelling “Don’t Check In, Check Out.”
While some sunbathers and frolicking families remained on the beach, the sheer number of strikers forced other beach-goers to relocate. The strikers warned “We’ll be back,” as Moana Surfrider guests watched and took video and pictures from their pool chairs and balconies.
“You are making millions off the beach, it’s time to share the wealth,” Eric Gill, secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 5 hollered from a megaphone, directing his comments at Marriott and hotel owner Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts.
About 2,700 workers at the Kyo-ya owned Marriott-managed Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui began striking early Monday as contract negotiations, which started in June, reached an impasse.
Kyo-ya said Monday that it was was committed to negotiating in good faith and hoped to resolve the situation in a timely manner. But the company declined to comment today as it did on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Since the strike began, visitor complaints have run the gamut from noise and closures to service disruptions. Today’s action, which garnered support from Honolulu City Council members Ron Menor and Joey Manahan, got mixed reviews from tourists.
The union’s 24/7 picketing in Waikiki continued after the morning march and rally. Strike and community supporters also began an 11-day relay around the island of Oahu, where they will walk and spread their “one job should be enough” message to the broader community.