IBEW members cast votes on whether to strike against Hawaiian Telcom

Scott Long
Scott Long

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The votes have been cast, and it will be known Monday if more than 700 Hawaiian Telcom workers have authorized a strike.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 1357 met Saturday with its leadership team to discuss the possibility of a walkout.

Signs have already been prepared if a strike happens.

The IBEW claims Hawaiian Telcom issued its "last, best, and final offer," which includes reductions in pension, and increases in medical premiums.

Union officials also said that they offered more than $5 million in savings per year.

"Our membership just gotta take a stand," said IBEW Local 1357 business manager Scott Long. "If you look at all the concessions that we've given in the past and such to try and help the company and position it to be successful, and then only now to have them come and attack the benefits health and welfare benefits of our membership, I think it's time to take a stand."

Hawaiian Telcom countered that it had been negotiating in good faith with the union. According to the company, its offer includes a one percent compounded wage increase.

Under the offer, employees would also contribute ten percent to health care premiums. Hawaiian Telcom said workers currently pay nothing toward full health care coverage.

The company said it has contingency plans to ensure that service is not disrupted if a strike occurs.

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