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(Tuesday, November 17, 2009) --- Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today that the City and County of Honolulu has reached a risk management agreement with 12 of the major private sector labor unions that guarantees no work slowdowns or stoppages during construction of the Honolulu Rail Transit project.


The Rapid Transit Stabilization Agreement (RTSA) signed by the participating labor unions protects the City against strikes, lockouts and similar job disruptions, while ensuring that the project’s contractors will hire both union and non-union workers at comparable pay and standardized work hours, days and conditions.   


“This monumental agreement ensures there will be local jobs from the Project to stimulate the local economy,” Mayor Hannemann said. “The RTSA would prevent any labor disputes that would disrupt the rail project during these fragile economic times: jeopardizing jobs and the livelihoods of workers and increasing the cost and schedule of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.”


“The importance of this labor agreement goes beyond ensuring local jobs,” Hannemann said. “By preventing any potential work stoppages, it helps to keep the project on time and on budget, which benefits taxpayers.”


Labor unions that signed the RTSA for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project are:

  • Hawaii Carpenters Local 745
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • Laborers International Union of North America Local 368
  • Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association Local 630
  • International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craft Workers Local 1
  • Iron Workers Local 625
  • Ironworkers Shopmen Local 803
  • Carpet, Linoleum and Soft Tile Local 1926
  • Drywall, Tapers & Finishers Local 1944
  • Glaziers Architectural Metal & Glass Workers Local 1889
  • Int. Union of Painters & Allied Craft Workers Local 1791
  • Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers United Union of Roofers Local 221 

In addition, today the City and Kiewit Pacific Company formally signed the construction contract for the first phase of the rail route from East Kapolei to Pearl Highlands near Leeward Community College. The contract to design and build elevated guideway for the first 6.5-mile portion of the rail route came in $90 million lower than initially anticipated because of the economic slowdown.


If the trend for contract proposals remains consistent, the City could save several hundred million dollars in construction costs for the project.  This estimate reflects the cost savings from this first contract applied to the other contracts still to be awarded.


To take advantage of potential savings, the City will seek proposals beginning tomorrow (Nov. 18) for the second construction phase of the rail route. This is a 3.9-mile section of the guideway from Pearl Highlands to Aloha Stadium. This is two years earlier than the initial plan in order to capitalize on favorable market conditions.


The train stations along the rail route are to be constructed in separate future contracts. Separate contracts are scheduled to be awarded next year for the train storage and maintenance facility in Waipahu, and for the manufacturing and shipment of the core systems that includes the train vehicles. 


Train service for the first leg of the transit route is scheduled to begin in 2012, with full service along the entire 20-mile route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana in 2019.