Unemployed construction workers hanging onUPDATED 7:45 PM HST Jun 21, 2013Video Transcript
We've heard that Hawaii's unemployment is at it's lowest in five years. Across the nation there are signs that construction jobs are growing. But some in the industry are still waiting to get back to work, KITV4's Catherine Cruz is live in the newsroom. Catherine, so the picture's not all that rosy. Not if you've been on out of work for years. There is hope of new private and goverment work on the verge of being rolled out. But it's not there yet. :14-:16 1:05 1:27 They call them the birds of paradise. And there are a half a dozen flying over Honolulu's skyline. Union leaders say each construction tower crane represents 700-800 jobs of all kinds. - 2:07 2:09- more carpenters masons iron workers, - Pane 1:47-1.54 : So we are looking foward to more of them" Pane Meatoga represents the operators in those cranes and wants to think the industry has already turned the corner. By next year.. Economists actually expect a labor SHORTAGE...and they singled out his union which also provides back hoe and forklift drivers. Meatoga says the unoin has been busy re-training it's members and finding new apprentices. It's also counting on bringing back retirees because that expected demand for heavy equipment operators. - Pane 4:21 - 4 33: -Neighbor islands. We have lots of members out of work so we wil lbe bringing them over instead of going to other states." And while there are lots of highrises in the planning pipeline-- they're not turning dirt yet. Of Meatoga's 3,500 members --28 percent are still out of work - Cruz 36:34- 36:42 - "The Carpenter's union with some 6 thousand members is the largest construction trade in the state. It hopes things will pick up in the next six months and activity will be in full swing over the next two years," Rendon Quintua is one of the hundreds of unemployed carpenters who is getting tired of waiting. He says he showed up at the union hall today with about two dozen others for-- a single job opening. He didn't get it. - 18:54- 1855 - "I started 400 on the list that was four years ago now I am number four so hopefuly cross my fingers they will call me soon. He says he keeps hearing "hang in there," But its getting old year after year. - 19: 00 19:05 - I guess the guys at the union are trying their best but hey, try tell that to the bill collectors," Not quite paradise living-- Lots of eyes looking up to skies-- for more birds of paradise. Union leaders say back in the days of the big construction boon of the 80's-- they recalled more than a dozen tower cranes towering over the city. We could see a replay of that very soon. Back to you.