Striking Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers and community organizers undertook one of their noisiest actions to date this morning in advance of another bargaining session with Kyo-ya Hotel & Resorts and Marriott.
Strikers and supporters, attired in red, formed a line through Waikiki as they marched from the Westin Moana Surfrider, one of the hotels where workers have been striking for 38 days, to Marriott’s Hawaii headquarters at 2155 Kalakaua Avenue.
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.
Today, workers with megaphones spent more than an hour in front of the Marriott headquarters chanting strike mantras like “Marriott, Unfair.” Some banged drums and other makeshift instruments such as empty gas cans.
Local 5 Secretary-Treasurer Eric Gill said the action showed Kyo-ya and Marriott that the union’s 2,700 striking workers remain strong as they head back to the bargaining table Thursday and Friday.
“Hotel management often has illusions about what our members can and can’t do,” Gill said. “The power that we have is the people. They didn’t come all this way to settle out cheap.We still need to close a significant gap on cost items.”
Kyo-ya and Marriott declined to comment on the action or upcoming negotiations.
The local action is part of a nationwide strike, which is a also underway in Boston and San Francisco. Settlements have been reached in San Jose, Oakland and San Diego, Calif., and in Detroit.