Royal Hawaiian concierge workers strike ahead of subcontract
Non-union concierge workers are on strike at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. They claim subcontracting is threatening their jobs.
HONOLULU - Hundreds of workers were no shows at four prominent Waikiki hotels Friday morning for a one day strike.
With union workers supporting non-union employees because their parent company is planning to outsource jobs.
Concierge workers at the Royal Hawaiian say, their jobs are threatened by subcontractors.
Japan-based Kyo-Ya hotel announced, it will subcontract the legendary hotel's concierge service to Pleasant Holidays Tour Activities Company.
"We were quite shocked. In fact, the concierge desk has been there for 30 years and it's something that we built up together, we worked hard, we were dedicated," Wendy Nagaishi, chef concierge, Royal Hawaiian Luxury Resort said.
The concierge staff is not in a union but thousands of Kyo-Ya employees are.
Members of the Unite Here Local 5 supported the Friday concierge strike by skipping work at four Kyo-Ya Hotels, that meant staffing was light at the Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Moana Surfrider and Princess Kaiulani.
Royal Hawaiian guests got a letter explaining the dispute. Waikiki Sheraton's Rumfire taped up a sign over closed doors.
Guests say there's more to it than that.
"Huge impact. There's basically no one manning the concierge desk today. The bakery is closed down. The service for breakfast is completely unmanned. They're using plastic utensils and plates and the standard has just dropped tenfold," Josie Thomson, Royal Hawaiian Hotel guest said.
Kyo-Ya claims the concierge workers were offered higher pay, a severance package, or the option to transfer to another position within the company.
The strike ended at 6 p.m., and workers were expected to be back on the job this evening
Kyo-Ya Hotels & Resorts and Kyo-Ya Kaiulani issued a statement Friday afternoon.
"All guests at our four Kyo-ya hotels in Waikiki have been notified of the changes for today. The staff on property are working to ensure that our guests continue to have an enjoyable experience during their stay in Hawaii."