Class-action lawsuit filed over hotel strike lodgings

A North Carolina doctor and his wife have filed a class-action lawsuit against Marriott International and Kyo-Ya Hotels &Resorts for not telling them that the workers in their hotel were on strike before they came here on their honeymoon.

Dr. Ovais Inamullah and Sana Khalique booked a five-night stay at The Royal Hawaiian for $2,391 and arrived on Oct. 29. By that time the strike was about to enter its fourth week.

Inamullah and Khalique said they were never notified of the strike prior to their arrival. They said the hotel still charged them full booking price even though they were provided no housekeeping, valet parking, room and pool attendant services and very limited to no on-site restaurant and bar service.

The couple is suing on behalf of themselves and all other travelers who were guests at the affected hotels from Oct. 8, the first day of the strike, to the end of the strike and were never notified of the strike at the time they booked their rooms or prior to their arrival at the hotel.

The strike continued Thursday as union and hotel negotiators met to discuss their differences. Bargaining began around 9 a.m. Thursday and was still ongoing at 7 p.m., with more talks planned for today.

Honolulu attorney Bridget G. Morgan filed the lawsuit for Inamullah and Khalique in state court Thursday.

“By charging full prices without telling people that they won’t get all of the serv­ices, these hotels are taking consumers’ hard-earned money under false pretenses,” Morgan said.

A representative for Kyo-Ya said the company was not aware of the lawsuit and had no comment.

No representative from Marriott responded to requests for comment.

Kyo-Ya owns The Royal Hawaiian, Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Waikiki and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani on Oahu and Sheraton Maui Resort &Spa on the Valley Isle.

Marriott operates and manages the hotels for Kyo-Ya.

The union said Thursday it was down to its last but most important bargaining goals: obtaining a a four-year contract with improved housekeeping workloads and “big money.”

Local 5 spokesman Ikaika Hussey said Thursday’s bargaining was proceeding without an apparent end in sight.

“It’s going very well and spirits are high,” Hussey said.

Marriott International CEO Arne M. Sorenson said this week he did not expect the strikes — which are occurring at 21 of the chain’s hotels in six North American cities — would have a “material impact” on fourth-quarter earnings.

“This is out of a portfolio of 6,700 hotels. We have been negotiating in good faith for many months, and we are making progress. We have already reached tentative agreement on national issues, and we have reached a number of local settlements,” Sorenson said.

“Just this weekend we welcomed our associates back to work after contract settlements in Oakland and Detroit. We hope to welcome more of our associates back to work soon,” he said.

Sorenson said associates working at the 21 strike-affected hotels have been “steadfast in their commitment to our guests.”

Marriott is also grateful to “the associates across Marriott who have stepped up to work at hotels impacted by strikes, including thousands of people who have traveled from other cities to help.”

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