comscore United Public Workers endorses Keith Amemiya for Honolulu mayor; operating engineers back Colleen Hanabusa | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

United Public Workers endorses Keith Amemiya for Honolulu mayor; operating engineers back Colleen Hanabusa

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2019
                                Keith Amemiya announced his candidacy for Honolulu mayor.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2019

    Keith Amemiya announced his candidacy for Honolulu mayor.

  • DENNIS ODA / FEB. 29
                                Colleen Hanabusa announced her candidacy for Honolulu mayor in Kalihi.

    DENNIS ODA / FEB. 29

    Colleen Hanabusa announced her candidacy for Honolulu mayor in Kalihi.

The United Public Workers union announced it is endorsing businessman Keith Amemiya for Honolulu mayor while the Operating Engineers Local 3 threw its support behind former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.

Those are the two latest endorsements in a rapidly heating up mayor’s race. The primary election is Aug. 8 but in this year’s, first-ever all-mail voting system, Hawaii voters will receive their ballots on or about July 21.

UPW represents most of the City and County of Honolulu’s blue-collar workers and is the second-largest government workers union in the state. Overall, the organization has approximately 13,500 members, about 7,200 of them on Oahu.

Liz Ho, UPW administrator, said the membership makes up a good number of the essential workers and first-responders on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to elect progressive, union-friendly candidates who will stand up for working people,” Ho said Friday. Amemiya provides those qualities, she said. “More than ever, we need to elect a mayor with the energy and commitment to all workers.”

Amemiya, making his first foray into elective politics, also has the endorsement of the 41,000-member Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state’s largest government workers union. He has also been endorsed by the Plumber and Fitters Local 675.

Meanwhile, Hanabusa this past week scored the endorsement of the 3,500-member Operating Engineers Local 3 union.

Union district representative Pane Meatoga Jr. said Hanabusa’s campaigns have historically received the organization’s support.

Meatoga pointed out that Hanabusa has served both in Congress and the state Legislature.

“Her knowledge of state and federal branches is essential to what will be needed at City Hall right now and going forward,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we are standing with her again this year.”

Hanabusa’s other endorsements include the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 and the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 368.

Among other major endorsements: the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers endorsed Rick Blangiardi; and the Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996, the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Union Local 625, the Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association Local 630 and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 endorsed Mufi Hannemann.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (36)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up