Hotel employee on strike detained for trespassing
Last week, three people on strike over contract negotiations wanted to hand out fliers to guests staying at the Sheraton Maui hotel in Lahaina. They were detained for trespassing
"We refused to leave because we just knew we had a right to be there," said Bernie Sanchez.
Before hotel workers at 5 different Kyo-Ya and Mariott hotels state wide went on strike over contract negotiations, Sanchez was a server at Sheraton Maui.
Last week, she and two others picketing wanted to hand out fliers with information on the strike to guests staying at the Lahaina hotel. They thought the hotel lobby area would be OK, but hotel management and other staff told them they were on private property and asked them to leave. Sanchez said they believed as employees they had a right to be there.
Eventually hotel security called Maui Police and filed a trespassing report.
When Sanchez and her coworkers tried to leave a MPD officer handcuffed her, telling her he was detaining her as he filled out the report.
"Then he told us that the trespassing report that they're filing is good for one year where we won't be allowed back on property," she said. "So we were worried because if the strike finishes, for a year we won't be able to come back on property?"
Sanchez said when the strike ends she'd like to go back to her old job.
KITV4 reached out to Kyo-Ya and Maui Police Department officials for comment but have not heard back.