Union Workers Rally at Honolulu Airport in Hawaii
Following a historic and successful three-day strike, union workers rallied yesterday at Honolulu Airport to remind the company of their power and solidarity.
Dozens of workers at HMSHost rallied yesterday at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to demand the company to settle for a fair contract. Workers showed their unity and solidarity as they prepare to return to the bargaining table next week.
Around 500 HMSHost workers went on a three-day strike in December of 2019. The strike closed a majority of the food and drink establishments at the airport, showing thousands of travelers and the public how important HMSHost workers are in Hawaii’s hospitality industry.
HMSHost workers are fighting for a better contract that includes significant wage increases and improved benefits. The workers are the first and the last people who cater to almost 10 million travelers every year. However, the median pay for a worker is $12.20 – not enough to keep up with Hawaii’s rising cost of living. While HMSHost boasts $3.5 billion in profits annually, workers say the company refuses to provide livable wages to Hawaii’s working people.
Rowena, a Starbucks barista for 18 years shared: “I am here to stand with my coworkers and to show the company that we are willing to fight hard for our contract. This is important to me, because I am a single mom. The wage increase and union healthcare will help me and my young son, especially with the cost of living getting more and more expensive.”
The collective bargaining agreement between HMSHost and UNITE HERE Local 5 expired in December 2018. Several rounds of bargaining saw little movement from the company, prompting the workers to take the campaign to the next step by going on strike. Another round of negotiations between the Union and HMSHost is scheduled next week.