Hawaii Academy of Physician Assistants

30th Aloha Medical Conference Update - UNITE HERE!, Local 5 Labor Dispute with Marriott Hotels

Posted 5 months ago by Joel Hamaguchi

Dear colleagues,

As you may know, there is an on-going national labor dispute between UNITE HERE! hotel workers and Marriott hotels. This labor dispute affects the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, which is the venue for our organization's upcoming 30th Aloha Medical Conference. While many of us have been repeatedly approached by the local union, Local 5, to relocate or otherwise cancel our conference, the planning committee and executive board decided against making any such changes.

This has not been an easy decision for our organization to make, and we are certainly not insensitive to the rights and aspirations of UNITE HERE!, Local 5 members to advocate for better wages and benefits. Many of us have the privilege of caring for Local 5 workers and their families, and we all understand the financial challenges of living in Hawaii. The Hawaii Academy of PAs supports Local 5 members in the unbiased, quality health care we provide to their members.

The difficult issues for us are timing and uncertainty. The planning for this conference has taken the better part of a year and we are hosting now 60+ attendees from out of state. These attendees are coming at great expense and for the purpose of continuing medical education. With the extremely short notice and uncertainty about the duration of the strike, efforts to secure an alternate venue for a week-long conference are simply not realistic. As the purpose of our conference is to provide quality continuing medical education for our members and conference attendees - and not for commercial or profit-seeking purposes - we hope Local 5 members understand that our decision to proceed with our conference is absolutely not an endorsement of Marriott's labor practices.

Just as Local 5 serves its members, we too try to do what is in the best interest of our membership. While we understand that our decision does indirectly negatively impact Local 5 members, our ultimate goal is to provide the highest level of compassionate care for the entire Hawaii community.

Thank you for your continued investment of time and support of PA practice and education in Hawaii. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the conference or labor dispute, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,
The Hawaii Academy of PAs