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Hawaii Marriott hotel workers and management return to the bargaining table

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    Picketers walk near the service entrance to the Sheraton Waikiki hotel on Monday in Waikiki. The Unite Local 5 union representing the hotel workers have yet to come to an agreement with Kyo-Ya Hotels as they seek higher wages and better benefits.

Unite Here Local 5, which represents 2,700 striking hotel workers in Hawaii, and Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts will return to the bargaining table next week.

Local 5 announced today it will resume bargaining with Kyo-ya on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. That means that the strike likely will continue for at least another week. The strike began Oct. 8 when negotiations between Local 5 and Kyo-ya, which owns the Marriott-managed Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui, reached an impasse.

The union said leaders of the striking local unions met with Marriott this week, but has not addressed core issues with Kyo-ya since summer when contracts expired. Kyo-ya did not return a call from the Star-Advertiser today.

Local 5 Financial-Secretary Eric Gill said the resumption of bargaining is “a testament to our steadfastness and determination on the picket line, and the broad support we’ve received from our community,”

If the strike continues to Oct. 26, it will have lasted 19 days, close to the length of Local 5’s last big strike in 1990 when workers picketed for 22 days. That previous strike involved 7,500 strikers who worked at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Ilikai, Kahala Hilton, Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Princess Kaiulani, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Sheraton Kauai, Sheraton Maui, and the Kona Hilton.

Hotel guests have been complaining about the strike. Guest experiences at the affected properties and nearby hotels have been impacted.

The union has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the hotels for banning employees from handing out leaflets to guests in the porte cochere at the properties where strikes are taking place.

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