Hawaii Gas Union Workers Approve New Contract, Ending Statewide Strike

A three-year contract has been approved by unionized employees of Hawaii Gas, ending the state’s two-week strike. The utility disclosed that the new contract includes a 15% pay raise spread over three years and a flat-rate medical insurance fee that covers roughly 10% of the employee’s medical insurance premium cost, with the remaining 90% being paid by the company.

Beginning the negotiations, Hawaii Gas offered a 10% wage increase while Local 996 of the Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers, representing union workers, proposed a 30% increase. In the end, a compromise that was acceptable to the union and the business was reached by both parties.

The president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Gas, Alicia Moy, expressed her satisfaction with the deal, acknowledging the difficulties encountered during the strike and stressing the need to move past them and unite as one ‘ohana (family). The utility is eager to welcome back its staff and resume regular business operations so they can effectively serve their customers.

During the strike, there were reports of union workers protesting and obstructing delivery trucks and employees’ access to various Hawaii Gas locations. Additionally, there were claims of taunting between union and non-union workers. Both commercial and residential customers were impacted by the strike’s service interruptions, mainly eateries that depend on propane for cooking and water heating. Additionally, residential customers encountered gas tank filling delays, and hardware stores experienced propane shortages.

Hawaii Gas granted waivers to its commercial clients during the strike, enabling other gas companies to fill their tanks. Typically, contractual agreements forbid this practice, but Hawaii Gas may have made an exception because of the strike’s specifics and public pressure.

The end of the strike is a relief for the company and the union workers, guaranteeing fair pay for the staff and continuing Hawaii’s residents’ access to essential gas services. The settlement is a win for all parties involved and the start of the company’s and its employees’ recovery process.

Seventy thousand customers are served by Hawaii Gas, the state’s only utility gas provider, through a vast underground pipeline network. The business, which is subject to state Public Utilities Commission regulation, works together with non-utility gas providers to provide gas to customers via trucks.

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