Princeville employees join union
Employees at the Princeville Resort have voted to join Local 142 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
The ILWU received 127 out of 238 ballots cast in the Dec. 28 runoff election, according to Tracy Takano, an ILWU spokesman. There were 94 votes cast for the employer, Takano said. Hotel workers union Unite HERE! Local 5 was eliminated from the December voting after garnering the lowest number of votes in the initial Sept. 24 election, he said.
Michael Machado, another ILWU spokesman, said the vote came about a year after organizing efforts began at the property. While union workers at the Princeville Golf Course have been represented since the 1970s, previous efforts to organize the hotel had been unsuccessful, Machado said.
"It was just time, I guess," he said. "Workers wanted some representation."
Workers likely picked ILWU because historically the union has had a strong position on Kauai's North Shore where it represented sugar workers for many years, Machado said. The union represents approximately 28 hotels throughout Hawaii, including the Hyatt Kauai, he said. "After the plantation closed, many of them began working at the golf course and the resort," Machado said. "They were familiar with the ILWU."
Machado said union members are currently formulating their key talking points for the upcoming contract negotiations. Union members and management are expected to begin the contract process soon, but no dates have been set.