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Employees at the Princeville Resort on Kauai’s North Shore recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of their first union contract. Just a few months earlier, in December 2007, Princeville Resort employees voted in a federally-supervised election to unionize with the ILWU Local 142

PRINCEVILLE, Kauai—The union contract was completed just in time to provide workers with job security, seniority rights, and medical benefits while the hotel closes for a seven month face lift.

The renovation of the Princeville Resort was planned long before the union election last December. The hotel is scheduled to close in late September 2008 and reopen in April 2009. The hotel will be re-branded as the St. Regis Princeville, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Luxury Collection.

“This contract provides strong protection for the jobs and seniority of the Princeville Resort members,” stated ILWU Kauai Division Director Clayton Dela Cruz. “In addition, medical benefits for these members will continue during the closure. It was very important to negotiate these protections for our members to help them during these tough economic times.”

Back pay to July 
Princeville Resort employees received a pay increase retroactive to July 1 of this year. Effective October 12, non-tipping workers will receive wage increases of $1.35 per hour and as high as $2.76 per hour compared to their June wages.

For tipped workers, wages will increase by 30¢ to 75¢ per hour compared to their June pay. Most tipped workers will also enjoy increased vacation benefits and the ability to receive three times their hourly wage for working on holidays.

“Our negotiating committee worked very hard to get pay and benefits to the highest levels on the island,” stated Business Agent Michael Machado, the ILWU spokesperson in negotiations. “In addition to a substantial wage increase upon reopening, Princeville Resort workers in non-tipping jobs will receive raises every six months totaling 14% over the life of the contract. Tipped workers will receive an additional 30¢ an hour.”

Members of the Princeville union negotiating committee worked hard to represent all departments and all classifications of workers at the hotel. Clockwise from left: Scott Bacon, Toppy Miyashiro, Bret Kykhouse, Ron Clough (organizer), CJ Fu, Tracy Takano (ILWU Intl Representative), Makana Bacon, Mila Pauletto, Chad Pacheco, Jack Pommeraning, Ua Hashimoto, Cathy Llego, Ardie Constantino, and Randy Murata.

Job rights are protected “We were also able to protect current full-time and part-time employees so they won’t lose their seniority and benefits during the closure and during any slow period that may occur immediately after the reopening.

Employees win because their jobs, benefits, and rights are improved and secured; and the new St. Regis Princeville wins because this hotel will open with a top-notch, skilled and trained workforce,” said Machado.

Hilton Waikoloa Village wins 17% increase

A new five year agreement between the ILWU and the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort on the Big Island will increase wages, maintain benefits, and clarify the language in a number of contract sections.

With over 800 ILWU members, the Hilton Waikoloa Village is the largest and most important employer on the Big Island.

Richard Baker Jr. and Corinna Salmo served as co-spokespersons. Members of the committee included Steve Hoffmann, Freda Ezzo, Jun Ignacio, Mark Liebl, Wesley Martinez and Orrin Honda. Also present was Isaac Fiesta.

The new contract will increase wages for non-tipping workers every six months for a total of 17 percent. Tipping workers will receive increases every year for a total increase of 7 percent.

The job titles of lead workers will be changed by dropping the term “supervisor.” This change more clearly and correctly identifies these workers as members of the union and not part of management.

The hotel will increase contributions to the pension plan and will continue to pay 100 percent of the cost of the health and welfare plan. Full-time and part-time employees do not pay for their medical or dental coverage.

In 2013, Martin Luther King Day will be added as an additional holiday.

Bell porterage for handling baggage of newly contracted tour or group movements will increase to $3.00 for each check-in and $3.00 for each check-out. In 2010, the porterage will increase to $3.50 and in 2012, the porterage will increase to $4.00.

Room delivery charges for newly contracted groups will give bell workers $1.00 for items left at the door and $2.50 for items left in the room.

Housekeepers will receive a premium of $1.75 for rollaway beds starting in 2011. It will increase to $2.00 in 2012.

Food and beverage service charges were also improved.

Foodland members approve new statewide agreement

Membership meetings were held at 24 Foodland stores on all islands to give workers a full report on the tentative agreement and an opportunity to vote on the contract. The meetings were held over four days from Sept. 25 to 28.

Business Agent Karl Lindo (right) thanked the rank-and-file negotiating committee for working very hard in representing the membership’s proposals and issues very well. Lindo also recognized and gave credit to the company for listening to the committee’s concerns and working in good faith to reach a fair agreement for both parties. “We hope to continue to build on this working relationship in the future,” said Lindo.