TheStrike – Day 1

TheBus drivers went on strike at 12:04 AM this morning, only three minutes after the threatened deadline.

Union leader Mel Kahele was quoted by the Star-Bulletin as saying, “I believe it is ludicrous for the company to believe that we are going to be in agreement with all the takebacks they are going to have on the bargaining table without even considering requesting for additional monies from the city and again from the City Council.” Kahele also promised that the union was “ready to go three months.”

OTS attorney Perry Confalone was similarly dismayed. He said that the Teamsters refused to give the company a written proposal until an hour or so before the 12:01 AM deadline.

Picket lines have been set up at TheBus’ Middle Street facility. The union also intends to march in front of Honolulu Hale – city hall.

At 5:30 this morning, many people already had contingency plans. Few people were at the city’s designated “‘Ohana Carpool” locations.

At the University of Hawai’i’s Share-a-Ride web site, only 14 rides were offered, and the response was equally small. UH Manoa has opened 1,900 additional parking spaces. All will be subject to the usual $3 fee. Community college campuses have adopted similar measures.