Del Monte workers win extra severance
Del Monte Fresh Produce Hawaii, which abruptly shuttered its local operations earlier than expected last year, has been ordered to pay additional severance and medical benefits to laid-off union workers.
The Hawaii Labor Relations Board told the Florida-based company to provide additional benefits for up to 500 unionized workers based on its originally intended closure date of December 2008.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the board in August.
ILWU Local 142 charged that Del Monte Fresh failed to bargain in good faith after making its first closure announcement last February.
At that time, Del Monte Fresh originally said it would cease all pineapple operations in Hawaii in December 2008.
But in November 2006, it announced that it would close immediately, two years ahead of schedule.
"The ILWU plans to meet with our Del Monte member and reopen negotiations with the management as soon as possible on the medical coverage issue," said Fred Galdones, president of ILWU Local 142. "The HLRB's decision goes a long way to correct the injustice of Del Monte's bad faith bargaining."