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A HISTORY OF THE "TELEPHONE COMPANY" IN HAWAII--Part EIGHT

As the Carlyle Group waits to take over Verizon Hawaii, we continue with the saga of telephone in Hawaii.

I1991 saw HawTel finishing its 1990 fiscal year ending with $539.3 million in gross income and $52.0 million in profit. The company paid its parent--GTE Corp.--a record $$43.5 million in dividends.

Employees working on a contract extension picketed the Bishop St headquarters on June 21, airing their demands for a pay raise, a new medical plan and better job security. One woman employee with four children had been a service representative for 25 years said she earned $12.42 an hour.

In September, HawTel offered a three-week 30 percent direct dial long discount for calls to any of 30 countries.

A filing with the PUC in December requested that free directory assistance calls be reduced to two per month per line from 10 free per month. Also, the application requested rate reduction for interiland calls. If approved, the daytime first minute would cost 33 cents instead of 40 cents and each subsequent minute would be charged at 27 cents a minute.

On December 15, the company announced that its president of three and a half years--Lee K Toole--was leaving to join another GTE operation in Atlanta. On December 19, Warren H. Haruki was named to be the 19th president of the company.

1991 ended with the company having 4,097 employees. There were 198,207 business lines and 409,577 residential subscriber lines for a total of 607,784. The company forecast a growth of 28,500 lines per year through 1996. [There's an inconsistency with the line numbers when in April 1992, HawTel said it had a total of 658,521 lines in service. Both figures are from company announcements.]  For fiscal 1991, gross income rose to $545.9 million an increase of 1.2 per cent, but net income dropped 10 per cent to $46.7 million.

1992 began with an announcement that in 1993 the company would lay fiber optic cable linking Hawaii, Kauai, Maui and O'ahu. More immediate were four contracts the company had in hand: 1. A $2 million design and installation contract for City Bank's new data center. 2. A $7.1 million contract to implement an emergency telephone system for the Big Island. 3. A $26.7 million contract for a communications system upgrade at Okinawa's Kadena Air Base. 4. A $3.5 million contract to install a fiber-optic duct for the U.S. Air Force in Sasebo, Japan.

On February 8, the employees ratified a new three-year contract after one year of negotiations.

Once again, in June, the PUC ordered an investigation to see if GTE's reorganization had harmed Hawai'i customers.

On July 16, the FCC recommended that Congress repeal restrictions in the 1984 Cable Act allowing telecos to offer cable television. This, of course, made HawTel happy, but not Oceanic.

In October, the PUC ordered an investigation on why rural phone service was substandard. The company said given the low number of rural customers, it would cost them $17,000 to $20,000 per household to upgrade. The company said all other customers would have to subsidize these costs. It was said with a fair amount of "screw you".

In November, two employee cutbacks were announced. The first was targeted at 35 executives--27 managers in the corporate sales division and eight management posts in the Phone Mart retail department.

The second was the union announcing there would be 300 job cuts. No details were given and the company didn't comment.


This takes us through 1992.

Stay tune for more installments.

Shaloha,

Marty Plotnick
martycri@lava.net



Copyright 2004 Creative Resources, Inc. All Rights Reserved Copyright not asserted for materials from third party publications.
Part 1 HERE
Part 2 HERE

Part 3 HERE

Part 4 HERE

Part 5 HERE

Part 6 HERE

Part 7 HERE

 




 

 

 

Copyright [2004] [Creative Resources, Inc.]