Strike? What Strike?
For a lot of folks, a trip to Hawaii is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Figure the minimal amount of time it took anyone to get here is at least 6 hours from the mainland USA or Japan. Many of our guests travel much further than that overall to get here and a large percentage of them will spend time on Oahu before heading to the Big Island.
Unlike the previous lava flow, I bet hardly any of the mainland news stations are reporting about the Hotel strike happening on Oahu and Maui. It isn’t ALL the Hotels, but of you have reservations at the Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui then it may impact your vacation. The parent company who owns these properties, Kyo-ya, wants you to believe that the strike won’t impact your stay and they have contingencies in place to handle the load. Unfortunately, what that means is over worked Managers are trying to pick up the slack of the vacancies created by the striking hourly workers for 8 to 10 hours a day, PLUS handle their normal workload. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Add on that the strike has been going on for almost 2 months now and ask yourself what kind of Aloha will those managers be showing anyone simply out of sheer exhaustion? Not much I’m afraid.
Picket lines surround the Hotels and picketers are chanting from dawn until dusk. Check in lines are long, as the front desk workers are on strike. Sometimes, rooms are not even ready because Housekeeping is also on strike. Want spare towels or new towels, good luck getting anyone to answer the number they set up for that service. Don’t expect your bed to made or trash to be taken out. Hungry and want to relax after a long flight, crowded airport, over crowded freeway and long line to check in? Well, plan to go out to eat. Room service has limited hours right now and oh, did I mention the wait was long to get your food if you happen to fall into the window of opportunity to order? Restaurants may or may not be open as or also has limited hours as Food and Beverage workers are on strike too. Take an Uber, Lyft or plan to self-park is as Valet workers are also on strike. If I were you, I’d pack light as you may not get any help getting bags into your room if the bell staff is on strike.
This strike will continue through the Thanksgiving Holiday until at least Nov 26th when the Local 5 Union and Kyo-Ya representatives meet again. Will they come to an agreement? I hope for the sake of the workers, the managers and impacted guests they can, but it is hard to say.
If your travel is impacted by the strike, perhaps a change of scenery might be good for you? The Big Island is open for business and we have plenty of availability right now! From snorkeling on the west side to hiking in the old lava flows on the east, we have something for everyone.