I’ve got some encouraging news with this Marriott Hawaii hotel worker strike update 2. Officials with Unite Here! Local 5, Marriott, and Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts are going to meet.
Now in its third week, the Marriott Hawaii strike saw 2,7000 employees walk off the job. And, though the affected hotels continue to operate, things have been anything but smooth sailing. There are numerous reports of hours long check-in lines, no housekeeping services, and the need to collect one’s own toiletries, towels, and sheets. Further, some hotels have stopped offering room service and have closed their pools and restaurants. Not exactly the type of experience you’d expect when paying hundreds of dollars per night.
The impact, though, hasn’t been limited to the affected hotels. Union members actively picket with noisemakers and shouting from 5 or 6 am till 10 pm. And they do so, not only in front of their respective hotels, but have taken over Waikiki beach and were even picketing outside of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore! To say their impacts have been damaging to the visitor experience in Hawaii is an understatement, and I’m hoping there won’t be any lasting effects on our top industry.
Coming to the Table
So, it is my sincere hope that the Union and hotel officials will come to a resolution soon. They’ve set meeting dates of October 26 and 27 to once again discuss the new contracts. But, I’m not holding my breath. As you’ll recall from my previous update, the Union is seeking a $3/hour increase and job security guarantees. If these demands are granted, that means the average pay for a housekeeper will rise to $52,000/year, more than most in Hawaii make. And, this enhanced “job security” leads me to believe guest services could also suffer, as it would limit the hotels’ ability to reprimand or terminate under-performing employees.
For their part, in the past, Kyo-ya proposed a $0.70/hour increase. These increases, by the way, are for the first year of the new contracts only. The Union is pushing for the pay to be suitable for employees to afford a home working a single job. A liveable wage in Hawaii is estimated to be $35/hour or just under $73,000/year. That’s more than I make, by the way, and I have a masters degree and work in the financial services industry.
Marriott Hawaii Hotel Worker Strike Update 2, Final Thoughts
Again, I’m hoping the strike will come to an end soon. But, there’s a huge gap both size need to close in order to do so. And I’m not confident this will happen in those two days. Especially since the Union doesn’t seem to care that such a large increase could shoot themselves in the foot. After all, who’s going to pay for their increase? The guests, of course! And if room rates keep rising too much, there won’t be any guests to pay for these increases. Fewer guests mean fewer jobs, not only for the hotel workers, but restaurants, airlines, gift shops, car rental companies, and more. But, hey, that doesn’t matter, right? They’re not thinking big picture here.
This will only lead to more automation in the hotels beginning a harder push for electronic checkin keys etc. Outsourcing of F&B will follow. I agree the unions this time are shooting themselves in the foot. with “equity capital” now controlling most of the major resorts they will not hesitate to raise rates and reduce services where they can. I have done work in the islands for 30 years you should publish the wage and benefit package of the average union hotel worker. One they get vested poof there goes incentive
All it will take is a downturn and they will pay the price
Island Miler says
Agreed. Outsourcing of F&B is something I see happening more and more. But, hey, all the Union care about is its own self-interest, right? Unite 5 is reminding me a lot of the UAW. What surprises me, though, is how members keep falling for the Union’s arguments too. Does no one think of the long-term repercussions of what’s being demanded?