Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

April 2015


Spring is here and soon it will be summer! Here is what has been going on and what will be coming up.


The Rail is still ongoing with over the first mile of concrete segments installed in the West side. The cantilever work over the H1 & H2 Interchange continues, and columns and relocation of utilities are still going on. Paul’s Electrical Contracting, American Electric, PAC Electric, and Keiwit are some of our signatory contractors that are working on these projects.

“The media calls our Tower Cranes the "State Bird."
The Rail Maintenance Facility near Leeward Community College is up, with two of their buildings and underground work still continuing.  We have A-1 A-lectrician and Endo Electric working on that site.

The package for the first three Rail Stations has been awarded to Hawaiian Dredging. The electrical was awarded to Lewis Electric. While Lewis Electric is not part of our family yet, they are going to sign a RTSA Project Labor Agreement with us. I want to thank Lee Lewis and his lead men for giving IBEW a chance to show them how we can help. If you get a chance and see them on any of your sites, please welcome them into the Brotherhood.

Dan Grabauskas
, the Executive Director of HART, continues to show his leadership by declining any bonuses that the Board would offer to him. While everyone seems to blame him for the cost increases of Rail, he takes it with a grain of salt and pursues his purpose of getting this rail built. Let me remind all that this project was designed over six years ago, and Dan only took over three years ago. Delays in construction caused by lawsuits during a time when construction was down helped in raising the cost of rail, and it snowballs from that.

The State Legislature is looking at the general excise tax (GET) this session. Currently they are looking at a five-year extension of the half-percent Oahu tax until the year 2027. This seems to be better than nothing, but realize that if after the first 20 miles and we start to look at extending to UH Manoa and into Kapolei City, it will take more than the five years of GET extension. By the time this newsletter gets out, hopefully the Senate and House come up with a compromise and give more than the five-year extension. 


High rises continue to go up. The media calls our tower cranes the “State Bird.” Ala Moana and Waikiki are also seeing growth in buildings and hotels. Brian Lee helped see that many of these projects get off the ground. He chaired the HCDA development board for three years where they approved more than 18 projects totaling 5,000 new homes – with 2,000 of those homes reserved at below market rates. I want to thank Brian for doing such a great job in being fair and dealing with the extra work.


We hope to celebrate this momentous occasion with you! Watch for your invitations from Pacific Rim Concepts and Local 1186, and reply early to reserve your seats. Join us for a night of food, drinks, and entertainment to celebrate our success. We have reserved the following dates:

• August 1st @ Sheraton Waikiki Hotel (Oahu)
• August 15th @ Sheraton Keahou Kona Resort & Spa (Big Island)
• August 22nd @ Grand Hyatt Poipu (Kauai)
• August 29th @ Grand Wailea (Maui)

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
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(808) 245-7840

1935 Hau Street, 4th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96819