Over 800 Hotel Workers, Community Members to Rally Against Condo Conversion Crisis

Over 800 Local 5 hotel and hospitality workers and community leaders from the AiKea Movement will be rallying at the Ilikai Hotel to bring attention to the growing crisis of condominium conversions and its negative impact on Hawaii’s economy.

WHERE:   Ilikai Hotel, 1777 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815

WHEN:   Wednesday, July 17, 2013 between 4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M

The Ilikai Hotel

The Ilikai Hotel

Launched in May 2012, AiKea is a growing movement of individuals and organizations who care about the future of Hawaii. AiKea successfully organized to repeal the Public Lands Development Corporation (Act 55) in April 2013, which would have granted five appointed people the authority to enter into public-private development agreements without adequate public input.

Their latest campaign calls for an end to condominium conversions—hotels converting their rooms into condominiums. These types of developments are lucrative for developers, who can profit quickly from these projects that require no long-term investment once the units are sold. However, the conversions lead to a host of problems for Hawaii residents:

  • Residential condos provide few, if any jobs
  • Condotel owners cannot compel these new condo buyers to enter the rental pool, which results in jobs and hours cut for housekeepers and other hotel workers
  • Those who do choose to enter the rental poo tend to rent out their rooms like vacation rentals and may choose to hire a minimum-wage housekeeper rather than the hotel’s housekeepers

Between 2006 and 2011, 3,250 jobs statewide were lost in the accommodations sector. Because of these lost jobs, over $30 million each year has been lost in tax revenue since 2007, which means less money to fund education, public improvements, and social services that our local working families depend on.

Local 5 and AiKea recognize that tourism is one of Hawaii’s top industries and are calling on elected officials and community leaders to address this alarming trend. Residents of Hawaii are losing out on jobs, tax revenue, and public services, while multinational firms are profiting.

Local 5 represents approximately 10,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.

AiKea is a growing movement of individuals and organizations who care about the future of Hawai’i and are committed to building a larger social and political movement. For more information, visit www.aikeahawaii.org.

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