For immediate release
February 11, 2005
941-2141 x238 or 778-7020 (cell)
Honolulu, February 11 – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a new complaint against the Turtle Bay Resort. The complaint supports 8 separate unfair labor practices, based on charges filed by the union representing some 260 workers at the North Shore’s only luxury resort, and set an April 12 hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The NLRB had already issued a complaint against the hotel based on 3 separate charges in August 2004, but has now added 5 additional charges.
The initial complaint against the hotel included charges of repeated efforts to have union representatives arrested by police officers for trespassing and repeated surveillance of employees’ union activities. The new complaint alleges additional instances of the same violations. To remedy some of the alleged unfair labor practices, the NLRB will seek an order requiring the hotel to notify in writing the Honolulu Police Department and the city’s attorney of the findings of the NLRB that the hotel violated sections of the National Labor Relations Act “by causing police officers to remove [union representatives] from the Turtle Bay facility and threaten them with arrest.”
Other unfair labor practice charges include that the General Manager “threatened employees with the close of its business unless the Union discontinued its boycott and picketing” and that the hotel has failed and refused to provide the union with relevant information that the union requested for negotiations.
“The determination by the NLRB to issue this complaint clearly demonstrates the pattern of harassment and intimidation that our members regularly face at Turtle Bay” said Eric Gill, UNITE HERE Local 5’s Financial Secretary-Treasurer. “It is unfortunate that the hotel chooses to continue to attack their employees’ rights rather than agreeing to sit down and negotiate a new contract.”
Contract talks started over two years ago, but frustration at the lack of progress led to a 92% vote by Turtle Bay workers to launch a consumer boycott of their hotel. The last negotiations were held on June 15, 2004, but the hotel would not agree to limit the subcontracting of union members’ jobs. All other Local 5 hotels -collectively employing over 7,000 workers- have agreed to the same protection from subcontracting that Turtle Bay workers are demanding.
Additional unfair labor practice charges have been filed by the union and are currently under investigation. On the same day that the complaint against Turtle Bay Resort was issued, the NLRB dismissed two charges filed by the hotel against the union. The NLRB stated that the “investigation revealed that the charges alleging that [Local 5] failed to bargain in good faith lack merit.”
The complaint alleges that the hotel, by its actions has “been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights” and has “been failing and refusing to bargain collectively with” the workers’ union.