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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Islands No. 2 in union membership

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Participants at this UNITE HERE Local 5 picket line are among the many workers who make Hawai'i the second-most unionized state in America. New York is the state with the highest percentage of union members.

BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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A little more than one-quarter of Hawai'i's labor force belongs to a union, which makes the state the second-most unionized state in the nation after New York, according to a new report.

The study done by the progressive Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research found that 25.2 percent of Hawai'i's workers are union members, twice the national median of 12.6 percent. New York led the nation at 26.4 percent.

The report also said unionization is strongly associated with increases in overall compensation, including hourly wages, health insurance and pension benefits.

A&B FOUNDATION DONATED $1.3M IN 2009

The Alexander & Baldwin Foundation gave $1.3 million to nonprofit organizations last year, capping a decade of donations totaling more than $18 million.

The foundation worked to maintain a high level of giving in recent years despite a difficult economic climate that weighed on corporate earnings, said Stanley Kuriyama, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. president and chief executive officer, who serves on the A&B Foundation's Hawaii Committee.

Last year's donations included $1.1 million provided to charities serving a broad range of community needs in Hawai'i and the Pacific Islands. An additional $200,000 was granted to nonprofits on the Mainland.

RAMADA CHAIN COMES BACK TO HAWAI'I

Wyndham announced that the Ramada brand has returned to Hawai'i with the opening of the Ramada Plaza Waikiki.

The renovated 16-story hotel is owned and operated by California-based Cal-Dynasty International Inc. The hotel is the second Wyndham Hotel Group property to open in Hawai'i in the past six months and gives the Ramada brand a presence in 48 states.

The 198-room Ramada at 1830 Ala Moana is the site of the former Holiday Inn Waikiki.