Hundreds of Hawaii Gas workers go on strike over wages, benefits

Hundreds of union workers with Hawaii Gas went on strike Thursday as contract negotiations remain ongoing.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:01 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of union workers with Hawaii Gas went on strike Thursday amid a contract dispute over pay, medical costs and retirement benefits.

Members of Teamsters Local 996 said they plan to remain on strike until an agreement is reached.

“A lot of these gentlemen and women have put in multiple years, equivalent up to 20 to 30 years, and it feels that they rightfully deserve a fair wage of living,” said Kevin Holu, president of Teamsters Local 996

“Unfortunately, here in Hawaii we’re priced out of paradise.”

Kaaai Conrad, a member of the union, also expressed frustration with wages.

“The past few years have been horrible, you know, that we just getting all the inflation is going up and our pay has been stagnant. It’s time we do something about that,” he said.

The company’s president and CEO said they are disappointed the union decided to strike.

“It is in our best interest to offer a competitive compensation package to retain our employees, and with energy prices already sky-high, we also have a responsibility to balance those needs with keeping pricing affordable,” President and CEO of Hawaii Gas Alicia Moy said in a statement.

“We don’t want to exacerbate the high cost of living in our state. This requires a delicate balancing act to meet all these imperatives.”

During the strike, negotiations are ongoing.

In the meantime, the company said all Hawaii Gas offices and facilities continue to operate.