Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

July 2016



As we celebrate with family and friends on this holiday with fireworks and barbeques, let’s remember what this holiday is really about. It’s about our country’s original 13 Colonies, who wanted freedom from the British Empire with the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, giving us the name “United States of America”.

A couple of famous quotes from the Declaration are “All Men are Created Equal” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Unfortunately, many citizens of the U.S. of A. take these words for granted. Let’s honor our Forefathers, who had a vision for this Country and its people, by taking the time to think about what was written and why. Everyone deserves to be treated equally and to pursue happiness, not just the rich or big business, but also working families. Remember, the Declaration was written “For the People and By the People”!

“We Have Grown as a Union with an All-Time High of 4,000 Members."


On June 6, 2016 we opened the negotiation process for our Inside/Outside Agreement, which is set expire on August 21, 2016. We got the member surveys that were turned in and tabulated the results. We will be using these results to aid in the negotiations. We will be keeping you informed through Union meetings and through your Shop Stewards.


Negotiations for a National Agreement have begun for the newly organized employees of DirecTV (DTV), which was bought out by AT&T. A conference was held June 1st and 2nd with other Locals to discuss what will be in the first contract representing them. I want to thank Joel Marcus, a technician with DTV, who accompanied me and Justin Puaoi to the conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah.


An election with the employees of Ikaika-Osmose was held under the direction of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Their choice was between our Local 1186, neither, or Ikaika-Osmose United Workers Union (WHO? Or should I say YUH?). Thank God we prevailed, and we have started negotiations with Ikaika-Osmose. When you see the employees of Ikaika, please welcome them into the Brotherhood.


As projects like International Market Place, Four Seasons, Kapiolani Hospital’s NICU Units, and Regal Theaters Kapolei come to a close, others are starting up such as Ho'opili, Koa Ridge, Keahou Lane & Keahou Place, and Honolulu Airport Mauka Extension. Many other high-rises continue to do interior work; Ka Makani Ali’i Shopping Center has tenant-improvement work, and we will be picking up the usual school projects that start in the summer. 

In light of the news on the possibility of Honolulu’s Rail project stopping at the Middle Street Station, work is in jeopardy along the proposed route from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center. Developers are now looking at continuing the “Live, Work, and Play” model, but are rethinking future developments if the Rail does not run by them. If this happens, we may not have as much work in the future. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) around the proposed stations will also not take place, not to mention the possibility of extending the route to the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus.


We have grown as a Union with an all-time high of 4,000 members. This is due to continued construction, Oceanic Time Warner Cable (Charter) hiring, organizing, and our Federal Sector. Your Dole Cannery classrooms are now available for use for Training, and the design of your new Parking Garage is still ongoing.


I want to take this time to mourn the loss of our fellow Brothers and Sisters, many of whom gave back to this Union time and time again. Many thanks go to the generous members and retirees that come out to your Community Events representing Local 1186. Your tireless efforts do not go unnoticed by your staff and myself.

Lastly, I hope the members and their families had fun at the Annual Oahu Summer Picnic on the 26th, I know I did! Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped that day!


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
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(808) 245-7840

1935 Hau Street, 4th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96819