Hilton Hawaiian Village workers rally in Waikiki for a better contract

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UNITE HERE Local 5 Members rallied in Honolulu to demand a better contract and better job protection for workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Hundreds of Local 5 members and community allies gathered Friday to show strength and solidarity as Hilton Hawaiian Village workers prepare for another round of contract negotiations with the company. The rally also included workers from The Modern Honolulu who are protesting the layoff of 78 workers as owner, Diamond Resorts, seeks to convert the hotel into a timeshare.

Local 5 members who work at Hilton Hawaiian Village are demanding a new contract that will put the workers on par with 2,700 workers from the five Marriott-operated hotels who went on a 51-day strike in 2018 to demand that one job should be enough to live in Hawaii.

On top of wage and benefits increases, Local 5 members at Hilton are also fighting to set the industry standard on job preservation. Workers demand Hilton to address the poverty wages and workload issues in its timeshare towers, stronger language to protect jobs even with the implementation of automation and technological changes, and to disincentivize subcontracting.

“We want to show Hilton that we are united. We’re doing this rally to show solidarity to each other— especially to our brothers and sisters who are in the timeshare towers, the subcontracted workers, and also the workers at the Modern” said Jacquelyn Cuban who works at the Front Desk. She added, “One job should be enough—we’re fighting for job security here. As we lose positions because of automation and technology, more and more work are being piled to one person. We will not allow that.”

Local 5 represents over 1,800 workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village – the largest hotel in Hawaii and the largest Hilton hotel in the world – as well as nearly 200 workers at Hawaii Care & Cleaning (HCC), who are subcontracted to do housekeeping work at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Both union contracts expired in July 2018. Hilton workers authorized a strike with a 91% yes vote and HCC workers did the same with a 97% yes vote. Contract negotiations with the company will resume next week.