All employees are entitled by federal law to organize as union members and press for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The employers generally push back. Most of the time, some accommodation is reached. When it isn’t, there likely will be a strike.
The nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children say they have not been able to reach an accommodation with Pacific Health, the operator of that hospital.
But can those nurses justify striking in the middle of a pandemic that has recently thrust Hawaii into the ranks of states with some alarming infection numbers? Pacific Health says the nurses currently average $124,000 a year in salary alone. Another $40,000 in benefits such as medical coverage. That’s a pretty damn good salary and the company is offering another 5% over 3 years.
There are other issues touching on working conditions in these difficult days. Nurses are on the front lines of exposure to the virus. We should all appreciate that and applaud their professionalism. But a strike? Now? Unthinkable and certainly not something that will generate much public sympathy.
Back to the bargaining table, please!
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This photo below is of Tineimalo Adams, a leader of the Halawa Prison gang United Samoan Organization, with tentacles that reach deep into the outside community.. Finally tagged by the FBI Honolulu Office as leader of a large gang doing drug trafficking, beatings, in-prison assaults and even from-prison tax fraud. He was sentenced to 17 years at Halawa, where he has run his gang as if he was on the outside.
The feds say say the gang has grown to at least 1,000 members.
When I recently suggested that it seems somebody might have been “on the take” to allow the Miske gang to operate so long, new Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s chief of staff, Michael Formby, wrote the Ian Lind blog that my suggestion was “not helpful.”
So maybe he’d also say that me pointing out that HPD and and state investigators allowing USO, the violent Samoan gang in prison and outside, to work so long without a peep until the feds intervened also is “not helpful.” It would be “very helpful” if HPD had a better record of gang dismantling.
Check out the USO, Alema Leota and Nappy Pulawa sagas. These aren’t New York. These are us.
My 58 years of reporting and writing here informs me that in those 60s and 70s we turned a blind eye to what was happening with Alema Leota’s Samoan Gang, Earl Kim’s Koreans, and Pulawa and others of Hawaiian heritage. Miske and USO don’t give me any renewed confidence that HPD’s criminal intelligence unit has been doing much beyond helping the former chief convict a relative, fraudulently, of mailbox theft. And they even botched that one!