For immediate release
September 16, 2010
Hilton Workers vote ‘YES’ for the Future of Hawaii
Hawaii's Needs, not Wall Street Greed
Honolulu—In an overwhelming show of solidarity, Nancy Aleck of Hawaii’s Peoples Fund – a local non-profit organization who led a group of local community leaders that oversaw the counting of today’s vote – announced this evening that 95% of Local 5’s membership at the Hilton Hawaiian Village who voted, voted ‘YES’ on authorizing a strike at the Waikiki property.
Cora Quinesares, a housekeeper at the Hilton said, "I voted yes, yes, yes! Yes for good quality jobs. Yes for job security and yes for my future. I work for a hotel that’s owned by Blackstone and they continue to use the economy as an excuse to hurt workers like me even while business is back. I’m proud of all us for standing-up to Wall Street’s greed."
In recent years, Hilton workers in Hawaii and across North America have endured staff cuts, reduced hours, and excessive injury rates. Now Hilton, run by one of the largest private equity firms on Wall Street—the Blackstone Group, wants to take more away, and lock workers into recession contracts even as the economy rebounds.
Mike McGurn, a maintenance worker at the Hilton added, "It’s about time workers in this community stand-up for what we know is right. This is our home and we hope Blackstone and the Hilton gets our message. We’re not going to let them leave us behind as the tourism industry rebounds and we’re not going to stand aside while Wall Street sucks everything out of Hawaii. In this economy, we need good quality jobs that we can all build a future on."
Union contracts for nearly 6,000 Hawaii hotel workers, including those employed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village expired on June 30, 2010. Workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village now join Hilton workers in Chicago and San Francisco who have also voted to authorize strikes at Hilton Hotels in each of their cities.