POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 20, 2011
Members of the union that represents most of Hawaiian Electric Co.'s employees voted down a tentative labor agreement last week.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1260, on Friday released the results of a ratification vote by employees.
"We regret that the agreement was not ratified," HECO spokesman Darren Pai said in a written statement. "Our goal remains to arrive at an agreement that balances the interests of all of our employees and our customers."
Pai said HECO and the union will meet Tuesday for further discussions.
Union officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Union members had been working under a three-month extension since Oct. 31, when the original contract expired. A tentative agreement on a new labor agreement was reached on Jan. 31, replacing the former extension.
The IBEW represents about 1,280 workers — roughly 54 percent of the company's employees — at HECO on Oahu, at Maui Electric Co. and at Hawaii Electric Light Co. on the Big Island. Those workers perform a range of jobs, including power plant operations, line work, meter reading and customer service.
The union members authorized a strike in a vote last fall before the original contract expired.
This is not the first time negotiations between HECO and Local 1260 have been protracted. The previous contract expired Oct. 31, 2007, but the two sides did not reach agreement on a new pact until March 2008. Union members did not strike during those negotiations.