HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Tears and frustration at Honolulu Harbor Thursday as hundreds of Superferry employees learn, they must now look for new jobs. Many workers left here in tears.
Many said the furlough -- or temporary layoff -- doesn't surprise them. But for some, the impact of the Superferry ruling on Maui didn't quite sink in until Thursday. The legal battle over the maiden voyage hit a breaking point.
Superferry employees were forced to walk away after the furlough announcement.
For former employee Kanoa Taylor, the interruption in pay will force him to give up his rental home in Honolulu.
"Even if I'm invited back to come and work," he said. "I won't have a place to stay on Oahu to be able to come back to the job."
With the Alakai forced to sit idle at Honolulu Harbor, Superferry CEO John Garibali said the company can no longer afford its $300,000 per week payroll.
"It's very, very difficult," he said.
Despite the layoffs, some former employees defend the company.
"Considering everything the company has been through and how much money they've been spending to keep us all employed, they've been first class about everything as far as the employees," said former employee Warren Asp.
Although the Superferry crew is now reduced to a bare minimum, those laid off said, they're hopeful the legislature will step in and save the ship, and their jobs.
Those who support the Maui court ruling said all this could have been prevented if an environmental assessment was done two years ago, when it was brought to the Superferry executives' attention.