Balloting for workers on five islands is scheduled through the rest of this week
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 10, 2011
Striking Hawaiian Electric Co. workers yesterday began voting on a tentative contract agreement reached early Monday morning between union officials and company management.
Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 cast ballots yesterday on Maui, Lanai and Molokai. Voting is scheduled to continue today on the Big Island and Friday on Oahu. The roughly 1,300 IBEW members who went on strike Friday afternoon will remain off the job without pay until there is a resolution of the labor dispute.
It is the second tentative agreement in five weeks between union negotiators and HECO officials. The first deal reached on Jan. 31 was voted down by union members on Feb. 18.
Neither IBEW nor HECO officials would comment on details of the tentative agreement.
The strike is the first by Local 1260 against Hawaiian Electric since 1973, according to the Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii-West Oahu. Some 1,100 members of Local 1260 struck in 1973 over pensions, wages, fringe benefits and subcontracting.
Shares of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., HECO's parent, closed up 3 cents at $24.79 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.