Saturday, May 17, 2008



The following is an appeal from the online labour solidarity site Labour Start. It concerns hotel workers in the US state of Hawaii and their struggle for unionization.


USA: Pacific Beach Hotel workers have a right to a union

In the Hawaii tourism industry, where employees must come to work every day with a smile on their faces, and share their hospitality and aloha with visitors and guests, the Pacific Beach Hotel is deliberately and repeatedly violating its workers' rights - proving that hotel management does not understand the meaning of the word "aloha." It has been over six years since workers first started to organize; since then, they've suffered management lies, intimidation, threats, and bribes to prevent them from joining the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Management has already been found to have committed serious violations of federal law. Over 30 of the strongest union supporters lost their jobs as part of management's fear campaign. Management refuses to negotiate in good faith with the ILWU. The hotel has been charged with over two dozen additional counts of illegal treatment of its workers. A community boycott of the hotel was called in December 2007, which has gained the support of Hawaii leaders, lawmakers, educators and unions, the national AFL-CIO, and several Japanese labor organizations, including Zenkowan (All Japan Dockworkers union), RENGO, Service RENGO, IUF-JCC, and ITF. Despite public support for the workers, Pacific Beach Hotel owner HTH Corporation refuses to acknowledge its responsibility to bargain in good faith and to obey US labor law.

Go to THIS LINK to read more, join the campaign and send the following letter to corporate management.

To HTH Corporation, owner of the Pacific Beach Hotel,
Your attempts to circumvent US labor law and acts of union-busting are shameful. Your employees are not making unreasonable demands - they are just asking that you acknowledge and respect their secret ballot vote for union representation as is guaranteed by law, and that you reward their decades of loyal service with a fair union contract. The workers' union, ILWU Local 142, has over one hundred contracts throughout the state of Hawaii. The vast majority of them are settled peacefully, with reasonable negotiations conducted by both sides. Most of the comparable hotels in Waikiki also have union contracts and workers who are treated fairly. What you are doing is bad for business and bad for the tourism industry in Hawaii. Please don't wait to be forced to do the right thing by the National Labor Relations Board. Take the responsibility to be a fair employer and do the right thing now. I will not patronize the Pacific Beach Hotel until you: Obey US labor law; Hire back the workers who were fired for supporting their union; Recognize the ILWU as the workers' union representative; Negotiate in good faith. Please treat the workers as they deserve to be treated - as you yourselves would like to be treated - lawfully, respectfully and with appreciation for the hard work they do every day.

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