HONOLULU (KHON2) — On the Big Island, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union employees continue to strike at Malama Market in Pahoa.
Sixteen meat cutters and seafood employees walked off the job on Wednesday, Nov. 8 to show their frustration over contract negotiations that have been on going for two years now.
The union is demanding increased wages and benefits they said reflect their value as essential employees, many of whom worked through the pandemic.
“They have some also issues of making 40% less in the job classification they’re doing. If you go down the street to Keau Foodland, they’re making $11.05 an hour more than these individuals doing the same work. That’s a $23,000 annual increase, where these people can start to pay their bills, pay their mortgage, by food.”Pat Loo, UFCW President
In a statement, the owner of Malama Market said there has been no impasse in negotiations. And they intend to continue to negotiate in good faith.
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The added, “We understand how very important this store is to the community and are committed to ensuring our customers are not impacted by these negotiations.”