Thursday, May 3, 2001

ADB Conference Logo

Major Waikiki
hotels face
work stoppage

The labor action comes as
ADB meeting opens

Police boost security
before ADB meetings

By Russ Lynch

Workers at major Waikiki hotels plan to stay away from work Monday, as part of a stop-work meeting to pressure management for a new labor pact.

"We have told our members not to report (to work) at all Monday," Sherri Chiesa, trustee of Local 5 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees, AFL-CIO, said today.

Monday is also the starting day of an Asian Development Bank meeting, which will have some 3,000 attendees staying in the hotels, but the union said today that the timing is coincidental.

"We've been patient a long time," Chiesa said. She said stopping work while a big conference is on could have its benefits "but it has its downsides, too," she said. "Our issues are going to get lost in the coverage of the meeting itself."

Meanwhile, negotiations are scheduled to resume tomorrow afternoon with the Hawaii Council of Hotels, representing management of hotels covered by a master contract for some 5,000 workers.

If a tentative agreement is reached over the weekend, union members at the stop-work meeting will discuss it and hold a ratification vote. If there is no pact, they will discuss what to do next and a strike is a possibility, Chiesa said. Either way, the plan for now is to be off work for the length of the meeting, planned for 10 a.m. Monday.

Chiesa emphasized the action planned for Monday will not be a strike, but a stop-work meeting to bring union members up to date.

Meanwhile, however, the union has notified hotel operators that it will unilaterally cancel the existing contract on Monday.

In a notice to the hotel council, Chiesa said Local 5 has asked a federal mediator to be present at tomorrow's bargaining session to see if that will expedite an agreement.

Nearly 5,000 Local 5 members have been working under an extended contract for more than a year since the last one expired March 1, 2000.

That master contract covers workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and the Sheraton hotels.

About 6,000 more Local 5 members are employed at hotels that negotiate their own separate agreements, which are due to expire through the next few months. On April 24 more than 2,000 Local 5 members marched through Waikiki to bring attention to what they said was a lack of progress in contract talks.

Union negotiators working on the master contract say they have asked for a 5 percent wage increase through the length of a three-year contract, but that management has not made an acceptable response.

Management's chief negotiator, Robert Katz, could not be reached for comment.

Asian Development Bank

Officers have been posted for security at the Beretania Street
police station as the Asian Development Bank
conference approaches.

Police boost security
before ADB meetings

Star Bulletin staff

The Honolulu Police Department has increased security at its Beretania Street headquarters in preparation for the Asian Development Bank conference next week.

ADB Conference Logo HPD officials would not say specifically how the security at their headquarters relates to the ADB meeting, only that they are taking precautions.

Starting yesterday through May 11, two police officers will be posted at each entrance into the police department, including the main entrance off of Beretania Street. The conference at the Hawaii Convention Center starts Monday and run through May 11.

Police officers in plainclothes must have their identification cards with them to enter the building, according to a police memo.

Police must also verify the identification of members of the public before allowing them to check in at the front desk. Even then a police escort is needed to enter the building.

HPD officials said visitor access to police headquarters will be restricted but that service to the public will not be affected.

Asian Development Bank

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