Center for Labor Education & Research
University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu

91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707

Publications       Phone: (808) 689-2760         email:


The Aloha Trade
Hawaii's Hotel Industry, 1941-1987

by Bernard W. Stern


book cover
click on cover for the online version

The story of labor relations in Hawai'i's hotel industry is a chronicle of the dynamic relationship between powerful business and political interests on the one hand and a growing struggle between two rival unions on the other.

This study is both a history of these relationships and, to a lesser extent, a critique of both the industry and unionism, including the impact in recent years of foreign investment.

Though it is a history, Stern's work is focused on the future of the industry, which, he argues, cannot be viewed as separate from the future of the Hawaiian economy. And most importantly, the book evaluates, as objectively as possible, the effect of "dual unionism" on the interests of the 30,000 plus hotel workers throughout Hawai'i.

Bernard (Bernie) W. Stern had been professionally active in labor relations for well over 50 years. He headed Benefit Plan Consultants, a company that designed and supervised health and pension plans for labor and management groups. On the mainland, he was a negotiator and researcher for the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union and later a labor economist for the National Labor Relations Board. In Hawaii from 1962-1965 he was an assistant to Art Rutledge. After twenty years as a consultant and mediator to Hawai'i's labor community, he retired and began writing labor history. His first book, Rutledge Unionism (1986), described labor relations in Honolulu's transit industry. He died May 4, 1988, shortly after completing work on this study which was published posthumously in 1989. [140 pages]

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