S.C.R. NO.









supporting the employee free choice act and urging congress to pass this measure.



WHEREAS, in 1935, the United States established, by law, that workers must be free to form unions; and

WHEREAS, the freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right; and

WHEREAS, union membership provides workers better wages and benefits, and protection from discrimination and unsafe workplaces; and

WHEREAS, unions benefit communities by strengthening tax bases, promoting equal treatment, and enhancing civic participation; and

WHEREAS, workers want to organize, but are unable to, since more than forty million United States workers say they would join a union now if they had the opportunity; and

WHEREAS, even though, on paper, America's workers have the freedom to choose for themselves whether to have a union, in reality, workers across the nation are routinely denied that right; and

WHEREAS, when the right of workers to form a union is violated, wages fall, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases, and job safety standards disappear; and

WHEREAS, many thousands of America's workers are routinely threatened, coerced, or fired each year because they attempt to form a union; and

WHEREAS, most violations of workers' freedom to choose a union occur behind closed doors and each year millions of dollars are spent to frustrate workers' efforts to form unions; and

WHEREAS, a worker's fundamental right to choose a union is a public issue that requires public policy solutions, including legislative remedies; and

WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1925 and H.R. 3619) has been introduced in the United States Congress in order to restore workers' freedom to join a union; and

WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act has received broad bipartisan support with over two hundred congressional members as co-sponsors; and

WHEREAS, at its March 17 meeting, the Hawaii State AFL-CIO Executive Board unanimously endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Legislature supports the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1925 and H.R. 3619), which would:

(1) Authorize the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representative when a majority of employees voluntarily sign authorizations designating that union to represent them;

(2) Provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and

(3) Establish meaningful penalties for violations of a worker's freedom to choose a union; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges Hawaii's congressional delegation to support the Employee Free Choice Act and to impel the United States Congress to pass this measure to protect America's workers and preserve their freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to form a union; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation.






Report Title:

Employee Free Choice Act