We are Waikiki

2015.09.15 Aston Renew picket leafletWe welcome our visitors.
We cook and clean for them.
Always with Aloha.

Visitors bring money here. But it leaves.
To hotel companies. To developers. To investors.

By 2018, Local 5 hotels will pay workers an average of almost $31 per hour. The non-union hotels pay $19 per hour—40% less. Non-union hotel workers also face unfair workloads and lousy treatment. Only 45% of hotels on Oahu are union. That means the majority of workers in Hawaii’s #1 industry are non-union.

A union contract makes a real difference in people’s lives. Not-yet-union hotels in Waikiki are ready to stand up and organize for their right to join the union. The community must back up these workers.

Local 5 hotel workers won wages and benefits worth $31 per hour.
But too many local people whose work pays Hawaii’s bills can’t pay their own.

We are Waikiki!
The AiKea Movement to Win $31 for Everyone

Tell Aston CEO Kelvin Bloom to respect workers! Email him here.

We are leaders in the community, stand by workers and their right to organize a union. We fully support the hotel workers who want to join Local 5 because it means a better future for them and for our community.

Sign our photo petition.

Affordable Housing for all

The median price of a Hawai’i home is $700,000, and we have the highest median gross rent in the nation. Homelessness increased by 30% between 2009-13.

Many factors lead to the housing crisis, but one is the rise of illegal vacation rentals and the website that advertise them, like Airbnb:

  • There are an estimated 33,000 homes being used as vacation rentals in the state.
  • Property owners may find renting units short-term to tourists to be a lucrative alternative to renting long-term. In Honolulu, the average rent for a two-bedroom unit between 2012 and 2014 was $1,939 per month,4 but the average listing of a two-bedroom unit on Airbnb is $372 per night.5 At 80% occupancy, that would generate $9,055 per month – over four times as much revenue.
  • While it is unclear how many vacation rental units could have been used as housing instead, on Oahu, 79.6% of AirBnB listings are categorized as “entire place,” meaning an entire housing unit is being rented out to visitors.
  • A lack of enforcement of existing laws is a significant part of the problem. According to research conducted by Civil Beat in 2010, 749 investigations were launched that year in response to complaints about illegal short-term rentals units, but only 24 violations were found. Only 18 of the violating property owners were reprimanded, and only 2 of the violators were fined, with fines adding up to just $4,433

Read a PDF version of our report.