Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hotels workers around the world tend to get screwed whenever they try to organize. Few people who patronize the hotels these men and women labor in notice them or their struggles. That really needs to change.

In the last few days hotel workers from the Pacific Beach Hotel in Hawaii traveled to Japan for support in their ongoing battle with a big Hawaiian Hotel Corporation. They made presentations to the major Japan travel agencies and JATA (the Japan Association of Travel Agents).

It seems that after two NLRB-run elections, workers of Pacific Beach Hotel finally won the right to be represented by the ILWU Local 142 and began negotiations for a first contract. That was two years ago, but the workers still have no contract to protect their wages, benefits and working conditions. Worse yet, HTH Corporation, the longtime owner of the Pacific Beach Hotel and the Pagoda Hotel and Restaurant, took over management of the Waikiki property in December, laying off 32 workers and demoting others in the process. HTH subsequently said it believed that Local 142's National Labor Relations Board certification had expired and refused to negotiate with the union.

Justice at the Beach, a coalition of community groups, educators, lawmakers, churches, and unions last December asked the public to boycott HTH Corporation. Justice on the Beach is still asking the public to respect the boycott of all HTH Corporation entities, including Pacific Beach and the Pagoda Hotel and Restaurant, until Pacific Beach fully respects federal labor law and negotiates in good faith with the workers.

In August the group will take to the streets in Hawaii during Obon. Obon is an annual Buddhist event for honoring and remembering your ancestors. It is one of the three busiest travel seasons in Japan and many Japanese will be visiting Hawaii. Justice at the Beach is planning to picket the Pacific Beach Hotel and other activities during the week of August 12.

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."

There is a petition you can check out at

Below is an appeal on behalf of another group of hotel workers, these in Indonesia, with a similar fight and a similar story.

The following appeal is from the International Union of Food workers.

Stop Repression of Workers Rights at Jakarta Hotel Gran Melia!

Major Spanish-based hotel chain Sol Melia has moved to squash workers' rights in their flagship Indonesian hotel, the Jakarta Gran Melia. In 2005 the hotel signed a collective agreement with the IUF-affiliated SPM Gran Melia, but management has systematically refused to implement what they've signed and agreed to. Management has targeted union members, officers and activists for dismissal, withheld money owed the union from the dues checkoff and service charge, barred union representatives from the premises and installed invasive and humiliating surveillance equipment in order to intimidate the union and its members. You can support the union's ongoing struggle by writing to Sol Melia CEO Gabriel Escarrer. Click here!

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