Friday, June 10, 2005

Judge rejects TRO
against Turtle Bay
union picket

A federal judge has dismissed a request from the owners and managers of the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore to prohibit union employees from picketing at the entrance to the property.

Kuilima Resort Co., TBR Property LLC and Benchmark Hospitality International were seeking a temporary restraining order based on safety concerns, said Abid Butt, Turtle Bay vice president and general manager.

"Our only hope is that the next picket will not have as many traffic and safety impacts as the previous one," Butt said.

During a picket last month, members of Unite Here Local 5 intimidated employees and guests and disrupted traffic, Butt said.

The suit claimed that Unite Here is planning another picket around the time of the resort's annual Honu Festival tomorrow and asked the court to require picketers to stay across Kamehameha Highway from the entrance to the resort.

The suit also sought to ban the use of bullhorns during picketing.

"Hopefully nothing bad will happen and the day can go on without any major hiccups," Butt said.

The hotel and the union have been at odds for several years over contract negotiations. The union called for a consumer boycott of the hotel in 2003.

The National Labor Relations Board is investigating complaints made by the union and has agreed to hear 13 of them on July 19, said Jason Ward, spokesman for Unite Here.

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