Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

February 2014



This 2014 brings IBEW Local 1186 into an era where membership is at its highest.  We have over 3,400 members as of January 2014. Together in the State of Hawaii, with the combination of all the IBEW locals (1186, 1260 & 1357) we currently have over 7,700 members.

Our continued strong standing is due to organizing, the economy picking up, laws and ordinances passed by the State Legislature and County Councils, greater enforcement efforts, the work of the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, and our community involvement progams.  Most of all, it's due to the hard working staff and members of the IBEW.

“Your IBEW leadership is
now represented well on several
key government Boards . . . ."

2014 will continue the work on Honolulu’s Rail Transit System, including the West Oahu and Kamehameha Highway guide rails, and also the Rail Maintenance Facility. Work will be strong on major subdivisions around central Oahu, and on revitalizing our city core and our infrastructure.

Union funds are also going well. Reserves are being saved for building a Union/Training facility in Maui, for renovations at our Kona facility, and for building an extension to our existing Honolulu building, which includes adding a parking structure to accommodate all of the training classes we’ve put in place. 

These upgrades are all needed to keep up with our membership growth, increased Safety and Journeymen training requirements for both our construction electricians and Oceanic Time Warner members; and increased Apprenticeship and Skills training.

We continue to develop relationships with important non-profit organizations in our community, from being nominated to serve on their Boards and building alliances with local leaders, to giving needed labor projects and donations, or both. 

We perform various community service projects with our members throughout the year, to show we are good neighbors in our great State. Doing this helps create jobs for everyone, and even makes our members feel good that their Union is creating a positive name for itself out there. 

IBEW is blessed to be trusted by our State leaders to be appointed to serve on the most important construction industry government Boards and Agencies. Your IBEW leadership is now represented well on several key government Boards, such as myself on HART (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation) and President Peter Akamu on the State Electricians & Plumbers Licensing Board, among others.

Two of our collective bargaining contracts are up this year, Oceanic Time Warner and Telecommunications. We already have been gathering data and getting membership input for the upcoming negotiations. With the pending national sale of Time Warner we will get important information out to you as soon as we get them to stay ahead. 

As our work starts to pick up, let's not forget to work safe and to work smart. Keep up with updating your safety and skill certifications, and renewing your trade licenses. 

Our annual Union Summer Picnics have been scheduled and Oahu's picnic date this year is set for June 29, 2014. Look on your IBEW Union Calendars, and watch for our upcoming flyers and newsletters for more information.

Lastly, I just wanted to send out our “Thank You's” to all of the members who continuously come out to support our efforts in making this a better Union. Your unwavering dedication to Unionism will keep us alive and on top!


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