Matson could face possibility of strikeUPDATED 7:29 PM HST Jun 20, 2013Video Transcript
Crew members who handle the sailing and safety of cargo ships are threatening to abandon ship! Tonight they're talking about going on strike... KITV4's Andrew Pereira has the latest developments. Paula, two of the three unions currently negotiating with Matson say the main sticking point is what members call wage kickbacks. :06 :25 :42 1:11 Come July 1, all handS may not be on deck on Matson ships. CHARLES K.Y. KHIM: "WE'RE RELUCTANTLY INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF THIS BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY TEN DAYS LEFT BEFORE THE CONTRACTS EXPIRE." No new contracts could mean NO WORKERS on cargo vessels... so the union says 70-percent of all food and goods shipped to Hawaii may be stuck on West Coast docks. DAVID KAUPIKO: "IT WOULD BE BAD, IT WOULD BE BAD. I MEAN THE ECONOMY IS BAD AS IT IS, IT DON'T NEED TO GET MORE WORSE." With the clock ticking, the Sailors' Union of the Pacific and the Marine Firemen's Union say the sticky wicket is Matson's demand that workers contribute wages toward two new ships. GUNNAR LUNDBERG: "WHAT THEY WANT IS A PIECE OF FLESH OUT OF US TO PAY FOR THESE SHIPS, WHICH IS WRONG." Matson says it's company policy not to comment on contract terms or negotiations. CHARLES K.Y. KHIM: "THEY HAVE KIND OF HINTED, BUT WE'RE NOT SURE, THAT NOT ALL EMPLOYEES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO KICK BACK THEIR SALARIES. BUT, WE DON'T KNOW." Another round of talks are scheduled Saturday and Tuesday in San Francisco to try and keep Matson ships sailing beyond the end of June. ANTHONY POPLAWSKI: "THE UNIONS HAVE MADE REASONABLE PROPOSALS ON IMPROVEMENTS IN PAY AND PENSION BENEFITS, AND THE COMPANY HAS REJECTED ALL OF OUR ECONOMIC PROPOSALS." Matson issued a statement saying it's common for unions to brow beat the company with the threat of a strike... And that "Matson feels that there is sufficient time remaining to work out agreements." And it does "not anticipate any disruption to service." DAVID KAUPIKO: "DON'T START RUNNING TO MARKETS BUYING EVERYTHING OUT OF SIGHT, I MEAN TAKE IT DAY-BY- DAY YOU KNOW." According to its annual report, Matson netted $45.9 million dollars in profits last year, but carries $319 million dollars in debt. The Seafarers International Union is also negotiating a new contract with the company, but we were unable to reach a union representative for comment. Yunji... back to you.