Hawaiian Cement and the union that represents 20 of its workers averted a strike early this morning. They tentatively settled on a five-year contract. The strike was expected to start today just after midnight. Union leader Mel Kahele says he expects workers to ratify the contract within the next five days. The union accepted the company’s demand that employees pay 20 per cent of their medical premiums in exchange for raises.
Michael Coad is Hawaiian Cement vice president and lead negotiator. He says there will be raises of one dollar, 20 cents per hour in the first year of the contract. The second year will give workers an additional 80 cents per hour, and 75 cents more per hour for each of its three final years. The company’s previous offer was one dollar in the first year and 80 cents each year after that. The contract will cover 20 Hawaiian Cement employees on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.