Mauna Kea Beach Hotel reaches deal with union
The deal covers what will happen to the 450 workers while the resort is closed
The owners of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel have reached a tentative agreement with ILWU Local 142 on the procedures for some 450 employees being laid off early next year as the hotel repairs damage sustained during the Oct. 15 earthquakes.
Details of the agreement were not disclosed. Employees will vote on the agreement Wednesday in the Garden Room of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
However, the union said yesterday that the agreement does include recall procedures for when the hotel reopens.
The Mauna Kea golf course and club house will remain open during the renovations.
Prince Resorts Hawaii, announced Dec. 1 that it would close the hotel to make structural repairs. The earthquakes created a safety hazard by damaging the lateral bracing system in sections of the roof.
While other hotels on the Big Island had relatively minor damage, the Mauna Kea is the only resort that sustained extensive enough damage to force a shutdown during renovations.
"This is an 'Act of God' situation that we have no control over. Nonetheless we regret the hardship it is causing our employees and the inconvenience to our guests," said Donn Takahashi, president of Prince Resorts. "Our initial assessment is that it will take many months to repair and restore Mauna Kea Beach Hotel to its original luster and prominence."
Prince Resorts owns not only the 310-room Mauna Kea Beach, which was developed by Laurance S. Rockefeller and opened in 1965, but also the neighboring Hapuna Beach Prince Resort on the Big Island. It also owns the Maui Prince Hotel and Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki.
About 60 employees are being offered positions at the Hapuna Beach. Some of the hotel's 450-plus workers will remain employed at Mauna Kea Golf Course, pro shop and club house, 19th Hole Restaurant, Hau Tree Restaurant, Gazebo Bar, and at the hotel's weekly luau and clambake.
The hotel and the ILWU have organized a job fair at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel tomorrow and Saturday to help displaced employees find other employment.
About 15 Big Island hotel and other companies, some so badly in need of workers that they have brought in workers from the Philippines, have signed up to participate.