Hawaii Hilton workers approve new contract By Shane Nelson / March 14, 2011 Share 1 -- Union workers at Waikiki’s Hilton Hawaiian Village voted March 8 to ratify a new, three-year contract agreement, by a margin of 99%. “It's been a long campaign for all of us, but it's been well worth the effort,” said Maria Salantes, at housekeeper at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and a Unite Here Local 5 union member. “We now have a new contract that provides for a meaningful future for us hotel workers, our families and this community.” According to union officials, the new agreement maintains current retiree and family health and welfare coverage along with a significant wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2010. Hilton Hawaiian Village’s approximately 1,500 union employees have been working without a contract since June 30. “Hilton’s team members are the company’s greatest assets,” said a Hilton Worldwide official. “Therefore, we are pleased to have arrived at a point in our negotiations with Unite Here where an agreement could be reached which we feel is both good for our company and good for our team members.” Union employees at the Hilton Hawaii Village ended a five-day strike on Oct. 19 before returning to the bargaining table with the hotel’s officials later that month. Local 5 union employees at four Starwood properties in Waikiki voted to authorize a strike, should union leadership deem it necessary, by a margin of 97% on March 4. The approximately 2,200 union employees at the those properties, along with nearly 2,300 other Hyatt and Marriott Local 5 workers, have also been without a contract since June 30.