Unite Here Local 5 has started inspecting hotels for COVID-19 safety and health protocols and publishing the results.
The union, which started conducting hotel inspections in June, had sought state legislation to require hotels to publish and enforce their health and safety procedures prior to reopening to outside tourism. It’s also asked the hotel owners and management companies that employ its 8,000 or so Hawaii hotel workers to allow employees to have a voice in reopening plans.
Six months into the pandemic, Local 5 remains displeased with the response it’s received from lawmakers and hotels. On Wednesday, it decided to start publishing the results of unofficial inspections performed by hotel workers. Their findings can be viewed at 808ne.ws/inspections.
Local 5 said the website “includes photos of the hotels and reports about what inspectors observed about mask wearing and the enforcement of it, whether the hotels have installed Plexiglas barriers and other tools to promote social distancing, signage about health and safety policies, and more.”
Gina Porter-Alcos, a banquet captain at Ala Moana Hotel, said: “We think the community has a right to know what is happening in our hotels before we reopen tourism.”
Jason Maxwell, a bartender at the Waikiki Beach Marriott and The Modern Honolulu, said safety is important.
“I want to go back to a workplace that I know is going to be safe. Hawaii is expensive. I have two young daughters. Our families can’t afford to lose people. If something happened to me, it would hit my family very hard,” Maxwell said. “There would be no way we could function if it was just my wife who was working because I got sick, or worse.”