For the first time since the hotel workers went on strike nearly three weeks ago, both sides are talking. Local business owners say they hope the negotiations end with a resolution.
Wedding planning business owners says these past two weeks with the strike have been difficult.
“We had a wedding, for example, on the 15th, which was about a week into the strike,” said Mona Hirata, Neu Events owner. “The sound of the chanting and protesting was louder than the sounds of the couple’s exchange of vows.”
She says they have another wedding scheduled to take place next week at a Kyo-ya property. She says the hotel has been helping to accommodate them to the best of their ability, but until Kyo-ya and Local 5 come up with a resolution, there is worry.
“There’s a lot of concern and worry, anxiety about the possibility of the event being disrupted,” said Hirata.
She says she’s had to come up with backup plans that include relocating, which is something she hasn’t needed to do yet.
“To some extent, when there’s been weather issues, I’ve had to evacuate a wedding for a tsunami threat. But this would be the first for me, to consider relocating because of a strike,” said Hirata.
For another business owner, she wishes the negotiations could have come sooner.
“Particularly the wedding that I have this afternoon, they’re all coming from the mainland, and I have a destination wedding business, and they were all staying in one of the properties that was having a strike occur,” said June Dillinger, I Do Hawaiian Weddings owner.
She says they had been planning the wedding for a year, but then had to switch venues last week.
“So the panic of that switch you know for the couple, it was like, ‘Oh my god you know we need to change,'” said Dillinger.
UNITE HERE Local 5 says the negotiations began at 3:30 p.m. Friday, and could last throughout the night.
Negotiations are also scheduled to continue Saturday.