Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

January 2015



This year year will be a big year for Local 1186 as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary. Founded in 1940 by members from our Federal Sector (Unit 2), we have grown some 75 years later to over 3,300 members representing Construction Electricians, Telecommunications, Cable (Oceanic Time Warner), and Federal Employees on all of our military bases.

Local 1186 Business Manager Akito “Blackie” Fujikawa advanced Hawaii's construction Unions by visiting New York and bringing back the idea of getting Benefits for our working men and women. Now we enjoy the fruits of his efforts by receiving Pensions, Annuities, Paid Vacation/Holidays, & Medical benefits that many unions in Hawaii offer today. Watch for more details on the dates and times for our 75th Anniversary celebration later this year.

“Watch for More Details on the Dates and Times for our 75th Anniversary Celebration . . . ."

It’s been a long time since the June elections in our Local. I apologize to the delay in reporting on the status of the elections, but it’s difficult to do since things change from month to month. Here is where we are today.

Craig Inagaki, Harry Ono, and Steven Leong filed a lawsuit in Federal court, in part, to stop the second election. Because of the lawsuit, the IBEW International and the Local Union agreed that the ballots for the second election would be collected but not counted. The Federal Judge then ordered that everything was to stay the same until the trial in this matter. This meant that the second election ballots would not be opened and the existing Officers and Trustees would remain in office.

A date was scheduled to hold the trial starting on October 27, 2015. After the trial date was set, the International filed a motion to have the case reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court, and the Federal Department of Labor also filed a motion to intervene. The Federal Judge granted both motions and vacated the October 27, 2015 trial date. The International Union has filed a Petition with the Ninth Circuit Court, which could end the litigation.

What does all this mean? The current Officers and Trustees remain in office until the litigation is either resolved by the Ninth Circuit Court or the U.S. Hawaii District Court. While I believe the second election ballots will eventually be counted, this will be determined by the courts. The attorneys cannot give us a firm date when this may occur.


On December 1, 2014 Democrats David Ige and Shan Tsutsui were sworn in as the new Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In our Congressional race we have Democrat Senator Brian Schatz and Democrat Representative Tulsi Gabbard back in office, along with newly elected Democrat Representative Mark Takai. They will also be joining Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono, who was not up for election in 2014. I would also like to take the time to say Mahalo to Representative Colleen Hanabusa for all of her years of service in the Hawaii Legislature and representing Hawaii as our Congresswoman in Washington D.C. We wish her well in her future and I’m sure politics and the people of Hawaii are still in her heart.

Oceanic Time Warner has been in contract negotiations since May of 2014 and talks continue for the Kauai and Oahu Blue and White Collar workers. Maui’s Blue and White Collar workers both ratified the Company’s “Last, Best, and Final” offer. To this day, the Union has asked to sit down and continue discussions with Time Warner. Telecommunications Contract negotiations also continue, with some signatory contractors agreeing with the Union's proposal and another four contractors still continuing negotiations. Electric Boat/General Dynamics members working in the Motor Shop, as well as Surface Ships and Submarines in Pearl Harbor, have begun negotiating and will continue through the month in January. Whether these Contracts are ratified or turned down, we ask all of our membership for their support.


In 2015 we look forward to more work in construction. About a dozen high rises are currently under construction (by Wasa Electrical Services, Electricians Inc., American Electric, and A-1 A-lectrician), as well as a new tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village (Rosendin Electric). Kapiolani Hospital finished their parking structure (A-1 A-lectrician) and now is building its new NICU Building (Cache Valley Electric). Rail Transit (West Oahu, Kamehameha Hwy., Maintenance/Storage Facility, and Core Contract) has many of our signatory contractors busy. Our projects also include the Pharmaceutical School in Hilo, Telescopes on Maui and Mauna Kea, & Kauai’s Koloa Landing.

As you can see, the work we have today culminated from years of good relationships with Legislators, Developers and General Contractors; testimonies in front of Land Commission Boards, License Boards, HCDA, and many other bodies. Your Staff is always working hard to look out for the best interests of our membership. Have a Great Year! And a Safe one too!


Damien Kim

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In honor of the recent Labor Day holiday, The Hawaii Electricians is offering this quick study of how unions help workers with a voice on the job:

What is a Union?
     A union is a group of workers who forms an organization to gain:

  • Respect on the job;
  • Better wages and benefits
  • More flexibility for work and family needs
  • A counterbalance to the unchecked power of employers, and
  • A voice in improving the quality of their products and services.

How do people form a union?
     When workers decide they want to come together to improve their jobs, they work with a union to help them form their own local chapter. After a majority of workers shows they want a union, employers sometimes honor the workers' choice.
     Often the workers must ask the government through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election. If the workers win their union, they negotiate a contract with the employer that spells out each party's rights and responsibilities in the work place.

What kinds of workers are forming unions today?
     A wider range of people than ever before, including many women and immigrants, is joining unions: doctors, nurses, poultry workers, graduate employees, home health care aides, wireless communications workers, auto parts workers and engineers, to name a few.

How do unions help working families today?
     Through unions, workers win better wages, benefits, and a voice on the job — and good union jobs mean stronger communities. Union workers earn 26 percent more than nonunion workers and are more likely to receive healthcare and pension benefits than those without a union.
     In 2002, median weekly earnings for full-time union wage and salary workers were $740, compared with $587 for their nonunion counterparts. Unions lead the fight today for better lives for working people, such as through expanded family and medical leave, improved safety and health protection, and fair-trade agreements that lift the standard of living for workers all over the world.

What have unions accomplished for all workers?
     Unions have made life better for all of America's workers by helping to pass laws endings child labor, establishing the eight-hour day, protecting worker's safety and health, and helping create Social Security, unemployment insurance, and the minimum wage.
     Unions are continuing the fight today to improve life for all working families in America.


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Business Manager-Financial Secretary
Damien Kim

Phone Numbers
Honolulu Office   (808) 847-5341
Hilo Office   (808) 961-6444
Kona Office   (808) 329-6960
Maui Office   (808) 244-8002
Kauai Office
(808) 245-7840

1935 Hau Street, 4th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96819