Unionized employees at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki -- who've been working without a contract since July -- held a rally outside the hotel Thursday night.
The Local 5 union that represents 515 workers at Hyatt and hundreds of workers at other major hotels said it wants to highlight workplace safety concerns - something management called "false charges."
Local 5 said the state Labor Department has a workplace safety investigation underway in response to numerous complaints from Hyatt employees.
"Shame on you!? shouted hundreds of hotel workers and members of other unions who formed a loud picket line along Kalakaua Avenue Thursday evening outside the Hyatt Regency Waikiki.
Tourists in Hyatt rooms just a few floors above looked down and must have wondered what all the shouting was about.
"We're not gonna settle for a lousy contact, am I right?? Eric Gill, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 5, asked the crowd of protesters. ?We're not gonna settle for a contract that doesn't preserve our pension, our retirement benefits, am I right?? The crowd shouted its answer, ?Right!?
Last November, Hyatt housekeepers in Honolulu and seven other cities on the mainland filed injury complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, reporting repetitive motion, back injuries and other ailments suffered on the job.
A state labor inspector spent three days at the Waikiki Hyatt investigating its complaints in December, observing work safety violations so fines are expected, but have not been issued so far, according to Cade Watanabe, a spokesman for Local 5.
Violeta Cabuyadao, who was walking the picket line, has been a Hyatt housekeeper for 13 years.
"They are changing our beds right now, the grand bed, and it's too high and it's too heavy and it's too thick," Cabuyadao said.
She said the Hyatt uses flat sheets on its beds instead of fitted sheets, so it's very difficult to make the beds. She said she uses finger nail polish to cover bruises under her finger nails.
"It's hard to tuck in and I have bruises, black and blue on my finger now for tucking in the sheets," she added.
A long-time accounting employee had a different complaint.
"They want to outsource our jobs to India. We've already lost two employees and India is doing some of the work already. And that's scary too, but they want to cut more," said Suzanne Benson, a 29-year accounting clerk.
The Hyatt released a statement Thursday that read in part, "Rather than focusing energy on achieving fair contracts for our associates in a timely manner, (union) leadership has elected to engage in an aggressive public misinformation campaign against Hyatt."
Hyatt claimed the union is trying to pressure the hotel into "card-check neutrality" -- a union organizing tactic that makes it easier to increase the number of union members, bringing in more dues to the union.