Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Richelle Rodero-Miyasato held up her Local 5 flag as hotel union members and supporters rallied at the 783-room Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki hotel yesterday to seek a contract settlement for 300 hotel workers there. A strike vote is scheduled for Feb. 18. A sticking point is retirement benefits, according to the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 5. Wages are not at issue. The Ilikai has already started paying wages that are in line with pay at Sheraton, Hilton and Hyatt hotels in Waikiki, where workers negotiated new contracts and raises last year. Negotiations are scheduled for Feb. 13. Local 5 is also negotiating with the Ala Moana Hotel in Waikiki and the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore.


Big Isle tax bills are in the mail

Big Island real property tax bills for the second half of the 2002-2003 tax year have been mailed to property owners.

The second half installment must be paid on or before Feb. 20 to avoid penalty and interest charges. People who have not received their tax bills should call the county's Real Property Tax Division at 961-8282. Those who have recently paid off mortgages should call the division to ensure that tax bills are sent to their attention rather than their bank or financial institution.


United counts on discount carrier

CHICAGO >> United Airlines said yesterday it plans to return to profitability through a combination of reducing costs, launching a low-cost carrier and using more regional jets.

In the most extensive comments yet on its new strategy in bankruptcy, United told its employees it needs its own discount carrier to become more competitive in the leisure travel market. It defended the plan to create a separate, low-cost airline -- which has been assailed by unions and questioned by industry experts since it was first disclosed in December -- saying it will entail a new business model that "has learned from the industry's past mistakes."

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