Contract expiration nears at Hawaiian Electric

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a Sunday strike deadline approached, Hawaiian Electric Industries continued negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The IBEW recently reported 97% approval by those taking part in a strike authorization vote, but the union had not yet scheduled a strike as contract talks extended into the weekend.

Local 1260 of the IBEW represents some 1,280 employees of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and the Big Island's Hawaii Electric Light Co., all of whom were covered by the strike authorization vote. These include clerical as well as electrical workers.

Local 1260 also represents workers at the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative but holds separate negotiations with that utility at a separate time. The same union represents workers at Servci, Chevron, Oceanic, several local television stations including HawaiiNewsNow.

In a possible sign of progress behind closed doors, neither labor nor management offered public comment on the progress of negotiations apart from the statement of a HECO spokesman that the company was "optimistic" of reaching a tentative agreement.

If contract talks continued down to the wire while continuing to make progress, there was no legal or logistical impediment to bargaining beyond the deadline without a strike.

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