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UPW President James Wataru for Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees.

UPW President James Wataru was nominated by UPW State Director Dayton M. Nakanelua to serve on the Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees. Please take the time to learn more about President Wataru's qualifications, below. He will serve as a voice for working families on the ERS Board, and it is very important we support his nomination with our votes. Please check your mailboxes for the ballot and return it by the deadline.
UPW President James Wataru for Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees.

UPW President James Wataru Chairs the UPW State Executive Board Meeting on August 26, 2017

UPW President James Wataru


"I've been an active member of UPW since 2003 and served as President since 2009. I've participated on the Negotiating Committees of Bargaining Unit 1. I am a board member of AFL-CIO, Labor Community Services and Blood Bank of Hawaii. I am also Chairperson of the Honolulu Fire Commission and Correctional Industries Advisory Board and Chapter President of APALA.

Given the many active roles I am involved in, has not prevented me from what I consider my most important role, as husband, father and foster parent."

Organizational Involvement

  • State President, United Public Workers (UPW), AFSCME, Local 646, 2009 -Present
  • Vice Pesident, Hawaii State Federation, AFL-CIO, 2009-Present
  • Honolulu Fire Commission, 2009-2014 (Appointed by Mayor Mufi Hanneman)
  • Honolulu Fire Commission Chairperson, 2014-2019 (Reappointed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell)
  • Board Member, Labor Community Services Program, 2009-Present
  • Correctional Industries Advisory Board, 2011-2015 (Appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie)
  • Correctional Industries Advisory Board Chairperson, 2014-2018 (Reappointed by Governor David Ige)
  • President, Kaiser High School Athletic Booster Club, 2005-Present
  • Hale Malama Foster Care Program - Resource family for medically complex infants, 2008-Present
  • Chapter President, Asia Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) July 2013-Present
  • Blood Bank of Hawaii Board of Directors, 2014-Present
  • Hawaii State Federation, AFL-CIO, HELP (Hawaii Employee Lifeline Program) Board Member, 2016-Present
  • Department of Labor, Workforce Development Council, 2009-2011
  • Hawaii Foster Parents Association Board of Directors, Director/Vice President 2007-2010


  • Kaiser High School 1982-1984
  • Honolulu community College-Plumbing Apprentice 1990-1995
  • Professional References

  • Russell Okata, Executive Director, HGEA (retired)
  • Bruce Coppa, Capital Consultants
  • Dayton Nakanelua, State Director, UPW, AFSCME, Local 646

    Personal Reference

  • Micah Kane, Trustee KSBE/CEO Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Victor Taamoa, Captain USAF
  • Kuuhaku Park, Vice President, Government and Community Affairs, Matson Navigation


    State of Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services 1998-Present

    Responsible for maintaing the plumbing systems in State Buildings, island wide, on the island of Oahu. Jobs include, but are not limited to, maintaining, installing, and repairing plumbing fixtures, pumps and sprinkler systems as well as coordinating and supervising in-house plumbing projects and working with sub-contractors to insure that jobs are completed on time and according to local plumbing codes and job specifications. As Safety Representative, responsible for working with management to insure that the employees are provided with a safe working environment and are kept up to date with the latest safety equipment and training.

    Plumbers Union Local 675 Honolulu 1989-1998

    Worked for Honolulu Plumbing Company, Advance Plumbing Company and R.M. Nakamura Plumbing Company as an apprentice. Obtained State of Hawaii Journeyman Plumbers liscense in 1995. Worked on both commercial and residential projects performing a variety of tasks in the plumbing trade.

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