The president of Hawaii’s Local 5 Unite Here, Hernando Ramos Tan, filed a lawsuit Thursday morning in U.S. District Court against the labor union’s secretary-treasurer, Eric Gill.
Donald Taylor, president of the International Union and the International Union, is also named in the lawsuit.
The court filing alleges “a pattern” of discrimination and retaliation, according to a press release on behalf of Tan, and violation of federal labor laws.
Tan is challenging Gill for the secretary-treasurer position in elections being conducted this month and next.
Tan said in a statement, “Despite my two illegal suspensions and the resulting loss of income, with the help of my friends and many hundreds of Local 5 Members, I will continue to fight Eric’s fabricated retaliatory charges and I will continue to help organize our growing Member To Member Movement to defeat Eric Gill in Local 5’s coming election – despite the fact that Eric has the money and the backing of UNITE HERE’s International union.”
Gill said he had not seen the lawsuit and so he could not comment on it.
“But he’s running against me, so this is a political move,” said Gill, who has held the job for 16 years.
Local 5 is the fifth-largest union in the state and is known for rallying hotel workers and others it represents in pursuit of better wages and benefits.
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