Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO
Twenty Fourth Biennial Convention
2011

 
GENERAL RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED:
  No. 1   Relating to Labor's Community Services Program
  No. 2   Relating to the Support of the United Way Fund Drive
  No. 3   In Support of Musicians' Association of Hawaii, AFM Local 677
 
LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED:
  No. 1   Relating to Fair Trade
  No. 2   Honoring the U.S. Military, Ending the Wars in Iraq
  and Afghanistan and Investing in Our Needs at Home
  No. 3   Relating to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
  No. 4   Relating to Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Couples
  by the Federal Government
  No. 5   Relating to the National Labor Relations Board
  No. 6   In Support of the United States Postal Employees



General Resolution No. l

RELATING TO LABOR'S COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the basic principle of the Labor's Community Services Program is that union members are first and foremost citizens of their community, and that union members must cooperate with their fellow citizens in making the community a good place in which to live, to work, and to raise children; and

WHEREAS, union members must be concerned about the availability of adequate health, welfare, and recreational services for the whole community; and

WHEREAS, through the Labor's Community Services Program, union members across the nation have been instrumental in making the community health and welfare agencies more representative of the people and more responsive to human needs, and

WHEREAS, through the Labor's Community Services Program, unions have been better able to respond to the health and human service needs of our members and have helped to increase the access to and knowledge of these essential services; and

WHEREAS, an important part of the Labor's Community Services Program is our mutually beneficial partnership between the United Way and Labor which has benefited union members and all citizens of our community and has been a means of increasing Labor's contributions to our community and increasing union members' involvement in our community; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO That this body continue it full support of the Labor's Community Services Program and that all local unions support the Labor's Community Services Committees on all islands to meet the health and human services needs of union members and to broaden the unions' interest in the community services program; and be it

RESOLVED, That certified copies of the Resolution be transmitted to all United Way Professional Officers, AFL-CIO Community Services Liaisons, Labor's Community Services Committee Chairs, and all unions in the State of Hawai‘i.

Submitted by: Labor's Community Services Committee


General Resolution No. 2

RELATING TO THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED WAY FUND DRIVE

WHEREAS, the basic principle of the Labor's Community Services Program is that union members are first and foremost citizens of their community, and that union members must cooperate with their fellow citizens in making the community a good place in which to live, to work, and to raise children; and

WHEREAS, union members must be concerned about the availability of adequate health, welfare, and recreational services for the whole community; and

WHEREAS, through the Labor's Community Services Program, union members across the nation have been instrumental in making the community health and welfare agencies more representative of the people and more responsive to human needs, and

WHEREAS, through the Labor's Community Services Program, unions have been better able to respond to the health and human service needs of our members and have helped to increase the access to and knowledge of these essential services; and

WHEREAS, an important part of the Labor's Community Services Program is our mutually beneficial partnership between the United Way and Labor which has benefited union members and all citizens of our community and has been a means of increasing Labor's contributions to our community and increasing union members' involvement in our community; now, therefore,

RESOLVED, by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO That this body continue it full support of the Labor's Community Services Program and that all local unions support the Labor's Community Services Committees on all islands to meet the health and human services needs of union members and to broaden the unions' interest in the community services program; and be it

RESOLVED, That certified copies of the Resolution be transmitted to all United Way Professional Officers, AFL-CIO Community Services Liaisons, Labor's Community Services Committee Chairs, and all unions in the State of Hawai‘i.

Submitted by: Labor's Community Services Committee


General Resolution No. 3

IN SUPPORT OF MUSICIANS' ASSOCIATION OF HAWAII, AFM LOCAL 677

WHEREAS the Musicians' Association of Hawaii, Local 677 American Federation of Musicians, has suffered more than two years of lost work dues from its major bargaining unit, the Honolulu Symphony, which ceased operations in 2009 and finally filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, and

WHEREAS this disruption of work for over 100 union musicians and the resulting loss of work dues to the local has caused a major financial crisis for Local 677, threatening the local's very existence, and

WHEREAS the Musicians Association of Hawaii, Local 677, has been a continuous and loyal member of the AFL-CIO since 1923, and

WHEREAS many of Local 677's current and former officers and members have been stalwart leaders in the life and health of organized labor in Hawaii for many decades, bringing honor and respect to Hawaii's labor community far beyond what might be expected from such a small local; of particular note are the contributions of the Honolulu Symphony Musicians, whose valiant labor struggle over nearly 30 years has become legendary in the annals of labor, both in Hawaii and nationally, and

WHEREAS a new group of community leaders has begun to put into place a new symphony organization that intends to right the wrongs of the past and bring back a professional symphony orchestra to Hawaii that will respect the musicians of the orchestra and their union as well as its donors and audiences, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO and its member unions will do all that they can to help Local 677 weather this storm and stay alive until the new orchestra is operational and the union's normal source of income -- dues paid by its working members -- is resumed. Such help may take the form of a) cash loans and gifts; b) discounted rates for services provided by unions or their members, such as electrical, carpentry, and plumbing; c) renting space in the Musicians' building; d) hiring union musicians for union office parties or other events, thus generating new work dues income for the local; and/or e) utilizing Local 677's payroll services, Musicians Services, Inc., or Entertainment Services, Inc., if a payroll service is needed.

Submitted by: Musicians' Association of Hawaii, Local 677 American Federation of Musicians



Legislative Resolution No. 1

RELATING TO FAIR TRADE

WHEREAS, the Census Bureau reports that the US poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1%, the highest level in 15 years, and the median household income was $49,445 the lowest level in over a decade; and

WHEREAS, with 14 million Americans unemployed, another 8.8 million who want full-time work but can only find part-time work, and 2.6 million long-term unemployed who have given up but would like to find work, the US is facing an ongoing jobs crisis; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO reports that the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) led to the loss of nearly 700,000 jobs in the US and helped create a $97 billion trade deficit with Mexico; and

WHEREAS, Princeton Sociologist Alejandro Portes reports that NAFTA's implementation has eviscerated Mexican agriculture and manufacturing, leading to mass displacement, while multi-national corporations have benefited tremendously by lax labor standards and slack regulation there; and

WHEREAS, the Alliance for American Manufacturing reports that so-called free trade practices with China (including its joining the World Trade Organization) have led to the loss of 2.8 million jobs in the US - over 5,000 of them in Hawai'i; and

WHEREAS, achieving similar trade agreements with South Korea (through the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS) and other Pacific Rim nations (through the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP) are considered high priorities of both the Obama administration and the Republican leadership in Congress; and

WHEREAS, according to the Economic Policy Institute, implementation of KORUS would likely double the US trade deficit with Korea, costing nearly 160,000 US jobs; and

WHEREAS, passage of KORUS is strongly opposed by the Korean labor movement; and

WHEREAS, according to the AFL-CIO and the labor federations of Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, the TPP - which is being negotiated secretly and without input from civil society or organized labor - will likely contain few or no provisions protecting the basic rights of workers, could put member-nations' public services, consumer protection and financial regulatory systems at risk, will likely contain insufficient protections against environmental degradation, and will undoubtedly lead to the loss of more jobs in the US; and

WHEREAS, November's Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu is expected to see the completion of negotiations on the TPP; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO opposes job-killing trade agreements like KORUS and TPP; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO and its affiliates will engage in efforts to support fair trade - which supports labor rights, environmental protection, indigenous rights and public services - over corporate greed, and oppose the "free trade" agenda being pushed at the APEC conference; and be it further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawai‘i congressional delegation.

Submitted by: Pride At Work Hawai‘i Board of Directors


Legislative Resolution No. 2

HONORING THE U.S. MILITARY, ENDING THE WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN AND INVESTING IN OUR NEEDS AT HOME

WHEREAS, American servicemembers - many of them union members or their family members - have served their country honorably and at great personal sacrifice in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deserve to be brought home as soon as possible, receive the care they need and be able to find decent jobs when they return; and

WHEREAS , more than 6,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces have died in these wars, hundreds of thousands more have been wounded, suffer from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, mental health problems or addiction, and suicide rates in the military are nearly twice the national average, while hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed, maimed, and wounded, with millions more being turned into refugees; and

WHEREAS, U.S. veterans of these wars have an unemployment rate of 11.5% and a service-connected disability rate of 25%; and

WHEREAS, with the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the dispersal of Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, the stated purpose of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan has been fulfilled; and

WHEREAS, by the end of the current fiscal year, the U.S. will have spent more than $823 billion on the war in Iraq and more than $557 billion on the war in Afghanistan, funds which are desperately needed for social services, health care, education, and job creation at home; and

WHEREAS, it has been four years since the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO Biennial Convention called for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. and Iraq governments previoU.S.ly signed the StatU.S. of Forces Agreement ("SOFA") which established a deadline of December 31, 2011 for withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from Iraq; and

WHEREAS, even with the current drawdown plans President Obama has announced, the Pentagon is still planning to keep tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan indefinitely - including 65,000 by the end of 2012 - at a cost of well over a hundred billion dollars; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO Executive Board has noted that "there is no way to fund what we must do as a nation without bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and the militarization of our foreign policy has proven to be a costly mistake; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO honors our U.S. servicemembers and their families and calls for full support for returning troops, including but not limited to adequate health care, including mental health and job training, and placement in jobs paying a living wage; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Convention supports bringing these wars to a speedy end, starting with the withdrawal of all U.S. military and private security personnel and closing of U.S. bases in Iraq by year's end and a significant drawdown of military personnel from Afghanistan this year, setting a firm end date for total withdrawal immediately; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Convention supports the intent of the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act (S.186), which would call for immediate redeployment of troops from Afghanistan and require a plan for complete redeployment of all troops right away, and HR 2757, which would prohibit the use of funds to maintain U.S. forces and contractors in Iraq after December 31, 2011; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Convention calls on the U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home and make those resources available to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, and aid municipal, county, and state governments; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO will encourage affiliates and non-affiliates to educate their members about this resolution; and be it further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawai'i congressional delegation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO will share this position with our federal legislators and will encourage affiliates and non-affiliates to educate their members about this position.

Submitted by: Pride At Work Hawai‘i Board of Directors


Legislative Resolution No. 3

RELATING TO SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE AND MEDICAID

WHEREAS, Social Security, the most effective anti-poverty program in our nation's history, remains fundamentally sound, with a modest funding shortfall over the next 75 years that can be addressed without benefit cuts, changes to the CPI index, or major changes to the program; and

WHEREAS, Social Security belongs to the people who worked hard and made contributions to it and does not contribute to the federal budget deficit; and

WHEREAS, Medicare and Medicaid provide crucial protection for some of our most vulnerable groups, including older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income households, with Medicare being the largest source of health coverage in the nation; and

WHEREAS, in 2010, the number of people covered by Medicaid increased 1.5 percent to 48.6 million and those covered by Medicare rose 2.1 percent to 44.3 million; and

WHEREAS, substantial cuts in all of these programs have been proposed as deficit-cutting measures by members of Congress in both parties, and cuts to Medicare benefits have been proposed by President Obama, being justified by the claim that the country is broke and we all need to "share in the sacrifice" to restore fiscal stability; and

WHEREAS, there is no need to cut these programs, since making the richest Americans and corporations pay their fair share, closing corporate tax loopholes, and bringing our war dollars home would ensure all the funding needed; and

WHEREAS, an all-out mobilization of the Labor Movement and its allies is likely needed to prevent the cuts from being enacted; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO, That this body opposes any and all attempts to cut or privatize Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and will work with labor, community and other organizations to organize against such proposals; and be it further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawai‘i congressional delegation.

Submitted by: Pride At Work Hawai‘i Board of Directors


Legislative Resolution No. 4

RELATING TO EQUAL TREATMENT FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

WHEREAS, the labor movement has a long history of fighting for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers; and

WHEREAS, labor unions strive to negotiate non-discrimination clauses in their collective bargaining agreements and enforce the principle that all employees be treated and compensated equally; and

WHEREAS, the 2007 Hawai'i State AFL-CIO Biennial Convention noted that "same-sex couples are devoted to each other, love each other, raise children and support their families," and that "the government's refusal to legally recognize their relationships deprives thousands of families of the most important attributes of their labor: the ability to take care of and provide for their family members"; and

WHEREAS, the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO expressed its strong support for civil unions for same-sex couples in Hawai'i "in order to help fulfill the need for same sex couples to have the same benefits, rights and entitlements as all others in our society"; and

WHEREAS, while in six states and Washington, DC, same-sex couples can marry, and in January, 2012, Hawai'i will become one of several States that offer state-level equivalents of marriage rights, benefits, and responsibilities for same-sex couples; and

WHEREAS, because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Federal Government does not recognize any same-sex relationships, denying these couples and their families over 1,138 rights and benefits, including: Social Security survivor benefits, spousal retirement benefits, and death benefits; tax benefits for filing jointly and creating family partnerships; estate and gift tax exemptions; veteran and military spousal benefits; and immigration spousal benefits; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice has determined that DOMA is discriminatory and announced it will no longer defend it from challenges to its constitutionality; and

WHEREAS, there are an estimated 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples currently residing in the U.S., many of who are at risk of being divided because their relationships are not recognized under federal law; and

WHEREAS, the Respect for Marriage Act has been introduced in Congress, with the support of Hawai'i's entire delegation, in order to allow the federal government to provide all federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples married under state laws; and

WHEREAS, the Uniting American Families Act has been introduced in Congress, with the support of Hawai'i's entire delegation, in order to permit permanent partners of U.S. citizens to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as married opposite-sex couples; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawai‘i AFL-CIO, That this body calls for immediate passage of both the Respect for Marriage Act and the Uniting American Families Act; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO will encourage affiliates and non-affiliates to educate their members about the importance of passing these bills; and be it further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawai'i congressional delegation.

Submitted by: Pride At Work Hawai‘i Board of Directors


Legislative Resolution No. 5

RELATING TO NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

WHEREAS, the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO stands for employees' rights at the workplace and is on the front lines of fighting for economic justice for all working people; and

WHEREAS, in April, 2011, the general counsel of the nonpartisan, independent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Boeing for moving a planned production line for its 787 Dreamliner from its unionized Puget Sound, Washington plant to a nonunion facility in South Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the complaint said "the move was in retaliation against the Puget Sound workers for having previously exercised their federally guaranteed right to strike against Boeing and to prevent these workers from striking in the future"; and

WHEREAS, in reaction to the NLRB's complaint filed against Boeing, Republicans in Congress have launched a multi-faceted campaign against the NLRB, including threatening to not concur with Presidential appointments to the board, eliminating its funding and the passage of H.R. 2587; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 2587 would legally allow employers to eliminate jobs or transfer employees or work for no purpose other than to punish employees for exercising their federally protected rights; and

WHEREAS, retaliating against workers for exercising their legally protected rights, as Boeing is alleged to have done, has been against the law for 75 years; furthermore, the Board will be powerless remedy this retaliation and direct the employer to return the work regardless of the circumstances; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 2587 is an over-reaching, special interest bill that advances the interests of corporate donors while attacking working people, their rights and their jobs; and

WHEREAS , this multi-faceted campaign is intended to cripple the NLRB and further stifle the due process rights and voice of employees in the workplace and is one more example of an anti-worker agenda that's bad for America and bad for the middle class; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO, That this body opposes these recent attacks on the NLRB and will remain steadfast in the fight against any efforts to cripple the NLRB's ability to protect workers' due process rights and voice in the workplace; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO will encourage its affiliates and non-affiliates to educate and organize their members about this struggle.

Submitted by: IAM, Local 1998


Legislative Resolution No. 6

IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL EMPLOYEES

WHEREAS, the United States Postal Service (USPS) can trace its existence to the Second Continental Congress in 1775, where it was subsequently established as an independent agency of the United States government;

WHEREAS, the USPS is a $1.3 trillion mailing industry that supports 8 million jobs, has processed an average of 200 billion mail pieces per year for the past ten years, delivers to nearly 151 million homes, businesses and P.O. Boxes in every state, city and town, is not funded by taxpayer dollars, and in the past four years had a net operational surplus of $600 million;

WHEREAS, the Postal Services' current financial shortfall is attributed to its being the only organization, either public or private, that is required by law to pre-fund their employee retirement obligations;

WHEREAS, instead of supporting sound and sensible financial decisions, some elected officials choose instead to end Saturday mail services, close approximately 3,700 post offices nationwide and lay-off up to 120,000 postal workers, which will have a tremendous negative impact on all citizens and the U.S. economy;

WHEREAS, on April 5, 2011, our Congressional Representatives Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa co-sponsored H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service's Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, which addresses the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System overcharges in excess of $5 billion and takes the necessary first steps toward a financially sound future for the USPS; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the delegates to the Twenty-Fourth Biennial Convention of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, that this body strongly supports the expeditious passage of H.R. 1351; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawai'i congressional delegation, the National Association of Letter Carriers, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers, American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association.

Submitted by: Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152