Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

August 2015



After some back and forth negotiations with the attorneys, a “Settlement Agreement” was reached between all parties.  The second ballots were counted on July 11, 2015 by the League of Women Voters almost 14 months after the first election, under the watchful eyes of Harold Dias representing the International, attorneys, and candidates.  I am happy to report that our Unity Team remains united, winning all but one position on the board.  We will continue to move forward with more energy and foresight.

I want to thank Carmelo “Melo” Diaz-Rotger for his dedication in serving your Board for seven years.  He brought great ideas, as well as understanding the vision we have at 1186.  I also want to thank the members who came out to vote and exercise their rights.  Although over a year went by since the first election, I ask all members to get involved with your Union and don’t wait until it’s an election year before taking interest in rumors.  Ask questions, as it’s your responsibility if you want to know the truth, and don’t just believe what you hear or read.

“We Are Enjoying
a Boom in Construction
in Hawaii"

International President Edwin D. Hill retires after 14 years serving as the President of the IBEW.  His years of dedication to the IBEW started as an Inside Wireman, and worked his way up the ranks to Business Manager, International Business Representative, International Office Vice President to the 7th District, I.O. Recording Secretary, and became the I.O. President after J.J. Barry retired.

President Hill implemented many new ideas on how to organize and become better members in the “I.B. of E.W”, as he would say.   Some of the programs he implemented in his career include our Code of Excellence, Member-to-Member Organizing, and the CW/CE Program to go after work traditionally performed non-union.  We thank International President Emeritus Hill for his years of dedication to the IBEW, and wish him a long and healthy retirement.


Lonnie Stephenson
succeeded our IBEW International President Ed Hill on May 27, 2015.  New I.O. President Lonnie Stephenson was the former Business Manager of Local 145 in Rock Island, Illinois and then was appointed as the I.O. Vice President of the 6th District.  President Stephenson had to hit the ground running with many meetings already lined up for him.  I had the great pleasure to meet with him at our recent Progress Meeting in San Diego.  I believe that he will represent the IBEW well, and look forward to seeing his vision moving forward.  Best of luck leading this great organization . . . The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers!


International Vice President to the 9th District John O’Rourke, and International Executive Council Recording Secretary representing the 7th District Patrick Lavin honored us here in Hawaii by paying us a visit.  Because of our location, we don’t get to see them here as often as we would like to.  IVP O’Rourke is a Journey Wireman who was the Business Manager at Local 6 in San Francisco, and became the assistant to former IVP Michael Mowrey, now retired.  IEC representative Patrick Lavin is a Journey Lineman, and also the Business Manager to Local 47 in Diamond Bar, CA.


Apprenticeship for the Inside Wiremen is currently taking place, while the Telecommunications Apprenticeship just ended taking applications.  These programs will help in the manpower needs.  We are always looking for some good electricians out there to join this organization, so if you know of any non-union electricians that want a better life for them and their families please let us know.  Who better to recruit than our own members? 

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) enters its fifth year in charge of Rail Transit.  As outgoing Chairman Ivan Lui-Kwan steps down, Co-Chairman Don Horner becomes the new Chairman, and I advance as the newly-elected Co-Chairman of the City's HART Board.  We want to thank Mr. Lui-Kwan for an excellent job not only as the Chair, but also overall as a Board Member.  His passion for the people of Hawaii and his expertise as an attorney brings many valuable attributes to HART.  I look forward to working with Mr. Horner as the new Chair, and also working with two new HART members, former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and Terrence Lee.


We continue celebrating Local 1186’s 75th Anniversary! Oahu had great attendance with over 500 coming out.  The kick-off started with a cocktail reception followed by a great buffet dinner.  Entertainment was by Touch of Gold, and a brief history was presented to the audience highlighting Local 1186’s accomplishments through the years.  We are heading to Kona, followed by Kauai, and Maui, so come out and enjoy the evening festivities and learn the history of 1186.

In Solidarity,

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