STRIKE: HECO says contract talks continue Sunday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaiian Electric Company spokesman said new contract talks are set for Sunday, after the company reached out to the union representing its striking workers.

According to Darren Pai, HECO offered to return to the bargaining table with the involvement of a federal mediator, and that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers agreed. Pai said talks are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday.

IBEW workers walked off the job Friday afternoon after it said management put off a negotiating session. Pai said HECO President Dick Rosenblum will be present when talks resume. It is unknown whether picketing will continue when negotiations get underway.

The IBEW workers have been without a contract since October. Union members overwhelmingly voted not to ratify a contract offer from management, which included raising the retirement age to 62 from 60, and would have implemented a two-tier contract, with lower pay for new hires. A few days after turning down the contract offer, the union workers voted to authorize a strike.

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