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Union leader arrested at rally

  • COURTESY IUPAT
    courtesy IUPAT Union leader Lynn Kinney was escorted by a state sheriff yesterday after his arrest for criminal trespassing at the Kalanimoku Building during a union rally.
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During a protest about local jobs going to mainland workers yesterday, deputy sheriffs arrested a union leader who used a bullhorn to make his statement at the Kalanimoku Building on Punchbowl Street.

Lynn Kinney, business manager of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 50, was booked for investigation of second-degree criminal trespassing, deputy sheriffs said. He was released at 12:04 p.m. without charge pending investigation. Kinney said the Attorney General’s Office will contact him about his court date.

“It was very intimidating being in Halawa (Correctional Facility),” Kinney said after his release.

About 50 people gathered with signs along Punchbowl Street next to the state Capitol yesterday morning to protest state contractors using mainland laborers to do local jobs, the trades council said.

Kinney crossed the street to the Kalanimoku Building, headquarters of the state’s Department of Accounting and General Services, and used a megaphone to chant “Local jobs for local people,” the trades council said. The building manager warned him away from the building, but Kinney returned with the megaphone, chanting “Stop giving local jobs away,” the council said.

Kinney said the trades council, which is made up of five different unions, has been trying for years to stop contractors from using mainland laborers to do state work.

Last year, lawmakers passed Act 68, mandating at least 80 percent of workers on state construction projects be Hawaii residents. Currently, the state has an $11 million contract for the last phase of renovation to Aloha Stadium, Kinney said. Local workers who tried to get jobs with the company doing the work have been denied, he said.

“Quit importing people and use our own people who can do the jobs,” he said. “It’s about hiring local people with tax dollars from the state.”

State Comptroller Bruce Coppa said the state is working with the painters and carpenters unions to improve Act 68 and is trying to enforce the law.

“If it’s the law, I’m going to make sure that it does get enforced,” he said.

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