Hawaii dock worker talks set to begin Monday
Hawaii's dockworkers will begin collective bargaining negotiations on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Hawaii Employers Council.
The council represents Hawaii Stevedores Inc., Horizon Lines LLC, Matson Terminals Inc. and McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Ltd. in their negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142.
"At this stage we are beginning the discussions to determine the issues, concerns and key negotiating points," said the joint statement by Timothy Ho of HEC, and Wesley Furtado and Nate Lum of ILWU Local 142. "Future meetings will be on call by the parties. Both parties appreciate the importance of the shipping industry to Hawaii and expressed their commitment to negotiating in good faith to develop a contract that is agreeable to all the concerned parties."
The current contracts expire on June 30.
West Cost dockworkers, meanwhile, sat down last week with the association representing the giant shipping companies for early contract talks.
The early efforts are aimed at avoiding a repeat of a 10-day lockout back in 2002, which stemmed from a dispute over a six-year contract.
The lockout caused $15.6 billion in losses, according to the shipping association.
Usually the union and the employers in Hawaii wait for a settlement on the West Coast before wrapping up local contracts covering a smaller number of workers in Hawaii.
The pay scale between what workers get in Hawaii and California differs, with the latter making more. Salaries, depending on seniority, rank and position, average above $100,000 annually.
The issues in Hawaii typically focus on retirement benefits, while West Coast workers are focused more on the loss of opportunities resulting from new technology.
The Associated Press contributed to this article