Another union ratifies
Hawaiian contract

Hawaiian Airlines’ clerical workers
approve a pact merely 11 days after
rejecting a tentative agreement

Hawaiian Airlines' clerical workers, the company's largest union group, ratified a new three-year contract Monday night, just 11 days after rejecting a tentative agreement.

The contract, approved by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, covers 1,329 employees of International Association of Machinists District Lodge 141. The group, comprising 40 percent of the company's unionized work force, represents employees in accounting, reservations, customer service and ramp services.

"We're pleased the process is over and we can now look forward to a bright future," said Randy Kauhane, assistant general chairman of IAM District Lodge 141.

Hawaiian said that after the rejection of the initial agreement the two sides modified the pact to reflect employee concerns. Details of the contract were not released.

"Together, Hawaiian and the IAM negotiated a contract that serves both the airline and the employees," Hawaiian Airlines trustee Joshua Gotbaum said. "We've taken a huge step toward getting Hawaiian out of bankruptcy."

The airline has received ratified agreements with half of its six labor groups. It earlier reached contracts with the Transport Workers Union, representing the company's dispatchers, and with the Network Engineering Group.

Hawaiian's flight attendants are voting this week on a tentative agreement while the company is negotiating a new agreement with the IAM mechanics unit, which last month rejected a tentative contract.

The pilots and the company have had the most difficulty trying to hammer out an agreement. Hawaiian filed a motion with federal Bankruptcy Court less than two weeks ago seeking to impose a contract on the pilots if the two sides can't come to an agreement. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15 but may be rescheduled for the following week at the request of the trustee's attorney.

None of the agreements will take effect until the company emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization. A confirmation hearing on a reorganization plan proposed by Gotbaum, investment group RC Aviation LLC and the airline's unsecured creditors' committee has been rescheduled for Feb. 28.

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