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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2009

Matson, unions extend talks to Friday

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Matson and the unions representing ship captains and other crew members have agreed to continue contract talks Friday in San Francisco, averting for at least a day the threat of a shipping strike as contracts expired tonight.

Matson’s contracts with the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the American Radio Association expired at 9 o’clock tonight Hawaiçi time. But negotiations were extended into Friday after both sides made progress in negotiations, said Charles Khim, attorney for the unions.
However, Khim said last night, the expiration of the contract means the unions can still go on strike at any time. Union members voted this week to authorize a strike, a move intended to give the workers leverage in their negotiations.
Matson, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., is the state’s largest trans-Pacific shipping company, carrying about two-thirds of the containerized freight to the Islands. Nearly 80 percent of all goods sold in Hawaiçi arrives via container ship.