Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, Inc. announced today that with collective bargaining between the Company and IBEW Local 1357 (the “Union”) having reached an impasse, the Company has informed the Union that the terms of the Company’s Last, Best and Final Offer will be implemented effective December 1, 2011.
Company and Union representatives began formal negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on August 15. In mid-September, a federal labor mediator was also engaged to help facilitate negotiations. The Company engaged in good faith bargaining throughout, but once meaningful progress could not be made, a Last, Best and Final Offer was presented to Union leadership in early October.
The Union rejected the Company’s Offer, and on November 10 and 11 held a 2-day work stoppage while delivering a set of CBA proposals to the Company that included:
– artificial acceleration of Union members’ accrual and vesting of pension benefits to minimums of 55 years old/25 years of service, regardless of actual age and service; immediate cost to Company: over $100 million;
– opportunity for each Union employee to purchase a personal computer reimbursed by the Company up to $2000; cost to Company: up to $1.4 million;
– expanded dental coverage to include cosmetic procedures and orthodontics: cost to Company: unknown;
– employee healthcare contribution of less than two (2) percent; and
– reduced sick leave for 2012, then gradually increased sick leave every year starting in 2013, until returning to the current levels of 26 weeks of fully paid sick leave per year plus the next 26 weeks at 58% pay.
Union leadership’s recent demands, work stoppage, and threats toward employees who elected to work during the work stoppage indicate that the period of good faith bargaining has passed.
The rules and processes governing collective bargaining provide a mechanism for parties to move forward when a compromise agreement is clearly not possible and negotiations reach an impasse. Hawaiian Telcom is proceeding according to those processes by implementing its Last, Best and Final Offer effective December 1, 2011.
The terms of the Company’s Offer – 1% annual compounded wage increase for 3 years, $500 bonus annually for 3 years, up to 8 weeks of sick leave, healthcare at 10% employee contribution, and enhanced 401(k) match while freezing pension at current values – reasonably consider the compensation and benefits packages of industry peers, the highly competitive telecommunications industry, and current economic realities. By implementing the Last, Best and Final Offer at this time, Hawaiian Telcom is acting with the best interests of customers, all employees, and the Company’s future in mind.
In addition to historical information, this release includes certain statements and predictions that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, any statement, projection or estimate that includes or references the words “believes”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “expects”, or any similar expression falls within the safe harbor of forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those indicated or suggested by any such forward-looking statement for a variety of reasons. More information on potential risks and uncertainties is available in recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Hawaiian Telcom’s 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Form 10-Q filed November 14, 2011. The information contained in this release is as of November 21, 2011. It is anticipated that subsequent events and developments may cause estimates to change.
About Hawaiian Telcom
Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, Inc., headquartered in Honolulu, is Hawaii’s leading provider of integrated communications solutions for business and residential customers. With roots in Hawaii beginning in 1883, the Company offers a full range of services including voice, video, Internet, data, wireless, and advanced communication and network services supported by the reach and reliability of its network and Hawaii’s only 24/7 state-of-the-art network operations center. With employees statewide sharing a commitment to innovation and a passion for delivering superior service, Hawaiian Telcom provides an Always OnSM customer experience. For more information, visit www.hawaiiantel.com
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