Union members led many protests at Hyatt Regency Waikiki, including this one from August 2012

Hotel workers union ratifies contract with Hyatt Regency Waikiki

After three-year dispute, new contract provides thousands of dollars in back pay

Hawaii Independent Staff

Honolulu – Earlier this week, and by a unanimous vote, UNITE HERE Local 5 workers at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki ratified their local contract resolving a longstanding dispute that began in 2010.

The new contract expires in 2018, and includes full back pay from 2010, increases in hourly wages, the maintenance of family health benefits and retiree pension, and greater job security for workers. It addresses the need for protecting good local jobs in an industry that has remained profitable, but where hundreds of jobs have been cut.  The new contract brings some subcontracted jobs back into the union and will require that remaining subcontracted cleaning workers be paid the union standard for wages. The Hyatt Regency Waikiki must also maintain a minimum number of staff in its accounting department.

Improvements to housekeeping workload, bus transit passes provided by the employer, and union construction language that requires the employer to use union workers for construction or renovation projects in excess of $2,000.00 were also agreed to.

Hyatt workers took numerous actions over the past three years, including strikes and a global boycott.

“We are one union and we did it because we weren’t afraid to fight together. I’m happy we have our job security, and we can build a future for our families,” says Maria Teresa Del Mundo, a housekeeper who has been working at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki for seven years.

A key provision of the national agreement between UNITE HERE International Union and Hyatt Hotels is a “solidarity clause,” which would allow union workers to take action at their own hotels if non-union Hyatt hotels in other cities have not recognized the union or agreed to a fair process for employees to decide whether to have union representation by October 2015.

The ratification of contracts by union Hyatt workers in San Francisco, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Chicago will trigger the end of the global boycott of Hyatt. With the agreement, 5,000 unionized Hyatt workers nationwide will have a contract for the first time since 2009. Local Hyatt boycotts in several U.S. cities will continue where labor disputes with Hyatt remain unresolved.