HC&S Puts Hundreds of Workers on Furlough
By Wendy Osher
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company has announced plans to institute a one-week furlough for all HC&S employees, impacting 674 workers, at all levels of the organization, from top to bottom.
In a statement issued by General Manager Frank Kiger to Pacific Radio Group today, he said, the company regrets having to take the action, but he said, “immediate action was necessary.”
Most areas are instituting a phased furlough this month; but seed cane cutting, field preparation & planting are currently working, since they took their furlough during earlier dry weather when there was insufficient water to plant and sustain germination.
Despite occasional heavy rains, company records show that 2008 has been the driest year in the last 80-plus years since HC&S began keeping rainfall and ditch flow measurements.
HC&S predicts 2008 total rainfall will be 35 percent lower than the previous all time low in 1926, and anticipates sugar production for the year to be 25% lower than historical levels.
Kiger said more permanent actions such as layoffs have not occurred, nor are there any plans for layoffs at this time.
(Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008 © Wendy Osher, Pacific Radio Group, MauiNOW.com)