Union authorizes strike at Hawaiian Telcom

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The union at Hawaiian Telcom has voted to go on strike. The results of the strike vote were released late Monday afternoon.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1357 voted 513 to 85 against the company's latest contract offer.

Scot Long, business manager of IBEW local 1357, said the vote "speaks clearly that there are issues that still need to be resolved" with Hawaiian Telcom.

The vote does not automatically mean there will be a strike, but does give the union leadership permission to call one.

More than 700 IBEW union workers cast their ballots on a strike authorization vote Saturday after company issued its "last, best, and final offer" which included reductions in pension, and increases in medical premiums.

Long said the results of the vote were being forwarded to the international union leadership. Long said if the international union approves, then he would be free to call for a walkout "at any time."

However, Long said union members have been told that it will be "business as usual" Tuesday, and that all employees should show up for work.

Meanwhile, the company issued a statement, which said, in part, "Hawaiian Telcom has contingency plans and preparations in place, which is the prudent thing to do in ensuring that customers continue to receive the service they need and expect."

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