Damien Kim 

By Damien Kim
Business Manager-Financial Secretary

June 2014



Half of the year has already gone by and it has been a very busy year so far. Construction is on the rise, Oceanic Time Warner Cable negotiations have started, and Telecommunications negotiations will start this month. It also means it's time for our Summer Union Picnics.

I also want to welcome Rosendin Electric and Cache Valley Electric to our 50th State. Rosendin has done work with us on Kauai at Barking Sands and now will be doing work at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, while Cache Valley is working at the Kapiolani Hospital project. Although the work has just started,  they are looking at hiring from our Union Hall anywhere from 20 - 40 electricians.

“The State E & P Board made a decision and clarified who is allowed to install the racks and PV panels - Electricians!"

Success came from the Electricians and Plumbers Board in May.  The State E & P Board made a decision and clarified who is allowed to install the racks and PV panels – Electricians!  We have been fighting over this intensively for more than the last six months.

Our position was always that any grounding and bonding that took place required a Hawaii state-licensed Electrical Journeyman to do the work.  Also a PV panel is an electrical apparatus, so therefore an electrician must install it.  These state regulations have been formally upheld for the safety of everyone!


On May 7, 2014 the City and County of Honolulu reappointed me to serve for another five years on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board by a unanimous 9-0 vote of all the elected Honolulu City Council members.  This will be my second term selected as one of only nine voting members on the HART Board of Directors.  I was truly honored to be asked to represent not only IBEW, but also on behalf of the taxpayers.  Building Rail "on time and under budget" is every Board members’ goal.  I am confident that with a solid Executive Director/CEO like Dan Grabauskas and a terrific HART Board, we can get Rail done and open in 2017 to Aloha Stadium and finish to Ala Moana Center by June 2019.  Work has finally resumed in full force on the Rail project, and over 100 columns have been erected. Now the spans are being put in place to connect those columns.

Thanks to the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) and our generous volunteer members for participating in our Smoke Alarms For Everyone (SAFE) program again in May.  This time, over 100 smoke detectors were installed on Oahu for mostly the elderly.  It is said that over 67% of homes do not have a smoke detector installed or working.  You also have a 50% better chance of survival if you have a working one.  Remember to test your detector monthly, replace the battery yearly, and have an escape route for your family.


We continue to encourage our members to attend your Union meetings so you can hear for yourselves what is going on within your Union.  Those who’ve attended know they can also freely ask any questions or voice any of their concerns and get answers.   Don't let others tell you what they heard – please come hear for yourselves.

I want to again thank everyone for volunteering their time in our community service events.  It is members like you that give IBEW Local Union 1186 our GREAT name!  See you at our Summer Picnics!


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
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(808) 245-7840

1935 Hau Street, 4th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96819