On behalf of the Hawai’i Workers Center, I strongly urge the Council to
pass Bill 80 and afford Hawai’i’s hotel workers a safe workplace and a fair
process for returning to work based on their length of service in the hotel.
It makes sense that those who have worked a greater number of years at a
hotel should be reemployed first.
The Bill’s provisions are reasonable and not overly difficult or costly for
hotel management to comply with. In fact, it is disappointing and hard to
understand why hotel ownership and management have opposed this
reasonable measure. It is the hotel workers who sustain the tourist
industry and render crucial services to make the industry and our local
It is vital to ensure that thorough daily hotel room-cleaning and sanitation
occurs so that hotel workers have safe and healthy workplaces. Cities
across the country have adopted similar measures to protect their workers
in tourism. What a shame it would be if Honolulu is one of the few cities
that does not prioritize its workers’ health and safety. Are hotel profits
more important? The additional cost to hotel operators is minimal and yet
they are resisting these reasonable worker protections and call-back
It is time to support our working people who have borne the brunt of lay-
offs, furloughs, and diminished incomes. Passing this bill will give the hotel
workers a greater measure of security for themselves and their families,
and will honor and safeguard the significant and essential contributions of
our hotel workers in this time of the Covid pandemic.