Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers skipped a traditional Labor Day celebration to take action against Diamond Resorts, owner of the Modern Honolulu and Ka’anapali Beach Club on Maui.
Workers occupied the public easement within the hotel property to celebrate labor victories while supporting Modern Honolulu and Ka’anapali Beach Club workers in their fight for job security, solidarity, and to uphold the union’s statement “one job is enough to live in Hawaii.”
After Diamond acquired the property in 2018, the company gave notice of their plan to convert the hotel to a timeshare. The company has since laid off 58 workers. According to the union, Diamond Resorts claims it will lay off many more workers but has not told workers and the Union when that will happen, who will be affected, and how many.
In July, workers filed a class action lawsuit for wage theft that impacted at least 325 employees across three hotels owned by Diamond Resorts – the Modern Honolulu, the Ka’anapali Beach Club, and The Point at Poipu.
Collective bargaining agreements at the Modern expired last December 2018 while Ka’anapali Beach Club’s contract expired July 2019. Local 5 aims to highlight the fight against Diamond Resorts as a microcosm of the larger threat against working people in Hawaii.
The union stands by the thought that timeshare conversions in the hotel industry are negatively impacting the tourism economy as it cuts jobs for local people and guest services for visitors.
Workers at The Modern have been organizing weekly rallies and actions at the hotel and calling on the community to support their campaign to protect good jobs and make one job enough to live in Hawaii.
Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care, and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Diamond Resort responded:
“We are continuing conversations with the union and have offered our valued team members a significant pay increase in our latest proposal.”