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Matson and unions reach tentative deal, averting strike


    A Matson container ship docked under cranes at Honolulu Harbor in April 2014.

There will be no shipping strike tonight after Matson Inc. and three of its unions reached tentative agreements on new contracts this afternoon, according to one of the unions.

Gunnar Lundeberg, president of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: “There is no strike. We reached an agreement. Matson did the right thing. Our fair and reasonable proposals were ultimately accepted and we reached an agreement. It will be business as usual.”

Lundeberg declined to provide details of the tentative agreement until members get a chance to vote on whether to ratify a new contract. Hawaii members will get to vote on July 17.

“We have a signed agreement with the unions,” said Matson spokesman Keoni Wagner. “It is subject to ratification but we’re pleased to have reached a fair and equitable agreement and service will continue uninterrupted.”

Matson, the Sailor’s Union and the Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association reached a tentative agreement following negotiations today at the Sailor’s Union headquarters in San Francisco.

A strike could have crippled shipping operations in Hawaii, Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles.

The Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association represents about 150 Matson workers and the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific accounts for roughly 300.

Both unions operate under the same contract that’s set to expire at midnight in California (9 p.m. in Hawaii).

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