New union endorsements for Hannemann, Abercrombie

The recently announced Hannemann campaign has secured two union endorsements, while Governor Abercrombie's campaign picked one up as well.

Will Caron

Hawaiʻi Independent Party (HIP) Gubernatorial Candidate Mufi Hannemann picked up a pair of strong union endorsements yesterday. The State of Hawaiʻi Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) and the 1,000 member strong Hawaiʻi Sheet Metal Workers Union, Local 293 (HSMW) both came out in support of the former Honolulu mayor during a news conference held at the SHOPO Headquarters in Kalihi.

SHOPO President Tenari Maʻafala said, “The safety and well being of the people of Hawaiʻi and our visitors have always been Mufi’s primary focus, in which he has stated and carried out as the Mayor, ‘making Hawaiʻi the safest place to Live, Work, and Play.’ True to this vision, Mufi Hannemann recognizes and supports the countless sacrifices the men and women of the four county police departments that are tasked 24/7, 365 days a year to protect and serve the people of Hawaiʻi.”

Art Tolentino, the HSMW Business Manager, Financial Secretary & Treasurer, meanwhile, focused on Hannemann’s leadership on rail, saying, “The residents of Hawaiʻi can be confident that the Hannemann/Chang ticket will work tirelessly to make sure that Hawaiʻi is a great place to earn a living, to support our families, and raise our children. Mayor Hannemann has long been a strong advocate for the working class. His leadership on rail and transit oriented development, which will lead to thousands of jobs that will benefit all of us has been extraordinary. Needless to say, rail would not have happened without him.”

At the same time, the Abercrombie campaign received a strong endorsement of its own from the 2,000 member strong Ironworkers Union Local 625 and Ironworkers Stabilization Fund.

T. George Paris, director of the Ironworkers Stabilization Fund, and Joseph O’Donnell, business manager of Local 625, said in a joint statement: “We believe that Governor Abercrombie is committed to supporting and improving the lives of Hawaiʻi’s working men and women. Neil is a ‘local boy’ at heart with a deep commitment to our community. During his tenure as Governor, he turned our state finances around and led Hawai‘i out of a recession. He invested nearly $3.5 billion to upgrade aging infrastructure across the state including our schools, airports and highways. In the process, he’s added jobs, reduced unemployment and bolstered our economy.”

Gubernatorial candidate David Ige, who will have to defeat Governor Abercrombie in the Democratic Primary before anything else, recieved an endorsement from the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA) on February 16.