Aloha Cargo Employees Cope with Loss - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Aloha Cargo Employees Cope with Loss

Harold Tavares Harold Tavares
Evelyn Bartley Evelyn Bartley

By Mari-Ela David

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Employees we spoke with at Aloha Cargo say they may still have their jobs, but they are having a difficult time dealing with the loss of their colleagues.

They're one of the last ones standing. A day after Aloha Airlines' shut down, 300 to 400 cargo employees remain. Their jobs were saved, but these workers say losing their fellow co-workers makes for a tough day at work.

"I have friends that have been here even longer than me, and some just came from cargo and went on the other side, and I had to look at them yesterday," said Harold Tavares, cargo employee. "They're asking me, ‘Can I come back?' And I'm, like, my hands are tied. So it's very hard for me."

Aloha officials say the cargo division handles 85% of Hawaii's non-mail air cargo, which is why the business is still attractive profit-wise. But the uncertain future of Aloha Cargo has employees on edge.

"We're on loose ends, too, because we don't know who's going to take over this department," said Evelyn Bartley, cargo employee. "But our managers told us to try and do our best, think about our customers that we know."

Twenty-five to 30 pilots remain on the job as well, to keep inter-island cargo flights running. Aloha Airlines is now in talks with the union representing pilots, to determine which pilots will fly the only part of the company that's still up in the air.

Aside from cargo employees, Aloha Airlines says 1,200 contact services workers also still have their jobs.

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