Just released by the County:
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii – The County of Maui has just been informed that Maui Electric Company workers plan to walk off the job and go on strike at 3:30 this afternoon.
The County wants to assure the public that it has taken every precaution to prepare for the potential of a MECO strike.
The County’s Managing Director, Keith Regan, has instructed all departments to test their generators and to have all fuel tanks topped off and ready for operation in the unlikely event of a disruption in service. These include sewage pumping stations which must be kept operational so that sewage continues to flow and be processed.
The Maui Police Department will station officers at the picket lines to ensure the safety of both sides during the strike.
Police, fire and other County crews will be on stand-by in the unlikely event of a power outage. MECO officials have assured the mayor that there should not be any disruptions in service.
“We hope that both sides can resolve their differences quickly,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “In the meantime, the County will take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Here’s HECO official response:
We are disappointed that the union has chosen to take this action, especially since there are still thousands of customers without power following the severe weather that hit overnight. A strike clearly hurts everyone. We have been working to arrive at an agreement that balances the interests of our employees and our customers, and are willing to continue to negotiate.
As part of responsible planning, our non-union employees have been trained and prepared to step in and operate our electric systems to provide our customers with the safe, reliable electric service they expect and deserve.
We will be reaching out to the union for further discussions and hope that we will be able to reach an agreement quickly.
We rolled down to MECO at 210 West Kamehameha Ave. to check on the strike action. Turns out, there was none. A representative informed us no picketers were out today; hich is too bad, because “They’re Striking in the Rain” would’ve been a great photo caption. Oh well. Seeing as we went through the trouble of going down there, here are few photos anyway — of traffic cones. Riveting, we know.