Mufi Hannemann today won mayoral endorsements from four unions, including that of the labor organization that represents operators of city-sponsored TheBus and HandiVan operations.
The announcement was made at the Kalihi headquarters of Hawai‘i Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996, which represents 1,239 city bus and HandiVan drivers.
The other unions announcing their endorsements for Hannemann today were the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union Local 625 (including the Hawai‘i Iron Workers’ Stabilization Fund), the Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association Local 630 and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1.
“When Mufi was mayor, he prioritized vital public services, especially the public transportation network of TheBus and HandiVan,” said Wayne Kaululaau, Teamsters 996 president, in a statement. “We want him to return to the City because we know transportation would not be shortchanged, and he has been our champion.”
Hannemann was mayor of Honolulu from 2005 to 2010, when he resigned halfway into his second term for an unsuccessful bid to become governor. He is currently the president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.
“I’m eager to return to City Hall again so we can take immediate steps to rebuild our economy, and the support of these labor organizations will be essential to that effort,” Hannemann said. “My pledge is to get Honolulu working again.”
Joe O’Donnell, Financial Secretary and Business Manager of the Iron Workers Union, said his organization has supported Hannemann since he first ran for office in 1986. O’Donnell said many new construction projects are contingent on the completion of the city’s $9.2 billion rail project.
Earlier today, former U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa won the endorsement of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 368.
The endorsement was made at a press conference at the union’s Kalihi headquarters.
Peter Ganaban, the Local’s business manager and secretary-treasurer, cited Hanabusa’s background as a labor lawyer, as well as her experience as a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Senate.
That union represents 4,300 workers statewide, 3,853 of them on Oahu.
Hanabusa said the state will only be able to recover economically with the construction industry active and healthy. “It’s you that are going to bring us out of this pandemic,” she told union members.
The Hawaii Government Employees Association is endorsing businessman Keith Amemiya while the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers is supporting businessman Rick Blangiardi.