ILWU rejects Advertiser contract
A new five-year contract between the Hawaii Newspaper Trades Council and The Honolulu Advertiser was rejected yesterday by one of the six unions representing employees of the newspaper.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents employees in the production department who prepare newspapers for distribution, voted against the contract.
Members of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, Honolulu Typographical Union, Graphic Communications International Unions 413N and 501, and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted for the contract.
With the contract rejection by the ILWU, the ratifications by the other unions are on hold.
"I'm shocked the ILWU would vote down a contract that provides no cutbacks, moves forward a group that is well-compensated and also guarantees job security for at least the next year and a half," said Dennis Francis, general manager of The Advertiser.
Wayne Cahill, administrative officer of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild and spokesman for the council of unions, declined to comment. Officials of the ILWU could not be reached for comment last night.
The unions, representing about 770 employees, have been working under a contract extension since June 10, 2002.
Under the negotiated agreement, one year of the new contract would be retroactive and the contract would expire in June 2007.
The package included a $500 bonus payment for full-time employees and $250 for part-time employees upon ratification, with wage increases of 1 percent in May 2004 and in May 2005, a 1.5 percent increase in May 2006, and a 2 percent increase in November 2006.
Additions to current benefits would include a noncontributory 401(k) plan and severance pay for part-time employees. The proposed contract also guaranteed no layoffs until Jan 1, 2005.
Employees also would have the choice of converting to a new retirement program with a payoff option at the end of employment, or of staying with the current plan.