One of our readers forwarded us a set of pictures with a situation report from the Westin Moana Surfrider where he currently stays and some employees currently engage in labor action.
As the Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki continues it’s negotiations with the local union that represents the hotel workers several facilities are now permanently closed, including in room dining:
- In Room Dining
- Beach Bar
- Surfrider Cafe
- The Veranda & Beachhouse
The hotel website doesn’t reflect any of these ongoing problems to warn the customers ahead of time and neither does the property contact the guests (our reader is a 10+ year veteran at this hotel with multiple stays per year and they did absolutely zilch to let him know prior to arrival). He was told by one of the employees to officially ask for a refund though.
Not enough with the closed restaurants, employees also loudly protest at the beach making any relaxation at the balcony or the hotel beach impossible:
According to Pacific Business News (access here) the labor action has been ongoing for over a month already per this article from October 17th 2018:
Unite Here Local 5 said it has not yet heard from Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts regarding contract negotiations, despite the hotel company saying it is “ready to welcome” back employees that have been striking its five properties since last Monday.
Union spokesperson and Westin Moana Surfrider employee Michael Kirby said Kyo-ya, which owns the Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui, has not “set a date to do any kind of contract negotiations.”
“I understand that Kyo-ya wants to welcome the workers back. However, we haven’t heard anything from Kyo-ya about contract negotiations,” Kirby said. “We have specific demands that we are asking for, and we’d like them to come to the table to discuss with us. Yet they have simply put us off.”
Pacific Business News has reached out to Kyo-ya for comment. The hotel company is bringing in outside help to staff these five properties, like tapping HIEmployment to bring in temporary employees. Kyo-ya is offering $23 per hour for positions like housekeepers, pool attendants, dining support, bell and valet services and telephone operators at the five affected hotels. It is also offering a $300 bonus to those who work three days in a row.
Of the 3,500 total Marriott workers in Hawaii, about 2,700 workers are currently on strike. Local 5, an affiliate of Unite Here, represents about 11,000 Hawaii hospitality workers. …
In a recent statement, the union pointed to a study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which said Honolulu residents need to earn $39 per hour to afford a 2-bedroom rental without spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. This translates to $81,244 per year.
Yes Hawaii is expensive but the 30% formula which used to be a good indication for earnings compared to rent is a luxury that doesn’t reflect the realities of 2018 anymore.
The union seriously expects general service staff to earn an 80k+ salary?? The offer that has been on the table is more than generous in my opinion but hey, I’m not the one who has to live in Honolulu so who am I to talk!?
Regardless of the substance of the negotiations regarding the employees wages and labor conditions, it is absolutely unacceptable that the hotel doesn’t inform guests ahead of time of these disruptions.
Many pull their annual savings and leave together to provide their family a vacation just to fly to Hawaii and then be confronted with this BS. I’d totally ask for a refund as well and book another hotel in Waikiki (or ideally another island). That being said there are more hotels affected by this strike than just the Westin Moana so probably avoid Marriott Hotels in Hawaii altogether during the current period.