Over 500 UNITE HERE Local 5 members at HMSHost Honolulu—workers at the concessions, restaurants, Starbucks, bars, pantry, maintenance, etc.—are on strike. This is the first time that HMSHost workers have gone on strike in Hawaii.
The recent contract negotiations on December 10th and 11th saw little movement from HMSHost, prompting the workers to move the campaign forward by walking out of their workplaces and joining the picket lines. Workers overwhelmingly voted in November to authorize a strike with a 99% yes vote. Workers demand the company provide livable wages and to be covered by the Union health and welfare plan (under the Union’s medical plan, hotel and healthcare workers pay $0 for full family coverage).
The collective bargaining agreement between HMSHost Honolulu and Local 5 expired in December 2018. The contract covers over 500 workers at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The workers serve nearly 10 million visitors in Hawai’i each year, making them an integral part of Hawai`i’s hospitality industry. HMSHost is “the world’s largest provider of food and beverage services for travelers.” While the company boasts an annual sale of 3.5 billion dollars, HMSHost employees in Hawai`i struggle to make ends meet.
Airport workers demand that One Job Should Be Enough in the sector that contributes significantly to Hawai`i’s largest industry. UNITE HERE Local 5 is encouraging Hawai`i residents, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support workers by not patronizing the establishments impacted by the labor dispute.