Fight the Override

Hawaii’s Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto of Hawaii’s version of the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill has infuriated the state’s union bosses who seek to override her decision.

Luckily for workers, Lingle has an ally in this fight. Rep. Colleen Meyer is fighting to prevent an override recognizing that “private businesses could find it a great deal more difficult to operate here in Hawaii if House Bill 2974 becomes law. . . . ”

Meyer continues:

The timing for this bill could not be worse. The cost of living in Hawaii is skyrocketing while our economy is slowing down. On Thursday, ATA Airlines ceased operations. This past Monday, Aloha Airlines laid off 1,900 employees, last week Molokai Ranch laid off over 120 employees, NCL is reducing its cruise ship fleet in Hawaii from three ships to one, and even attractions like Sea Life Park have recently laid off employees.

This bill sends a strong message to businesses that Hawaii is not a business friendly place. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Hawaii ranked 45th out of 50 states in economic outlook and we ranked 50th out of 50 on the sales tax burden levied on our citizens. The Alliance for Worker Freedom gave Hawaii an “F” in its 2007 National Report Card.

As a champion of workers, Meyers knows that:

A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join a union individually, not as a collective group. Right to Work laws protect the freedom of private AND public sector employees to keep and hold jobs without being required to pay union dues.

2008 is an election year and the Democrats want to “curry favor” with the unions to receive their support in the upcoming contests. It is also convenient that the Legislature passed this bill early, so when the Governor vetoes this bill, the Democrat super majority will be able to override the Governor’s veto during the regular session and avoid the criticism that often is raised when the Legislature calls a special session.

Over the past two decades, union membership has declined nationally, but not so in Hawaii, where 24.7% of our workforce is unionized. That’s the highest percentage in the country. If you compare Right to Work states with those that have “Card Check” laws, the Right to Work states are outperforming the Card Check states.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the states that have the highest percentage increase in Gross Domestic Product over the last few years are states with Right to Work Laws. Those states that have “Card Check” laws or high union membership do not perform well at all.

Michigan ranked 48th of 50 and New Jersey was ranked 36th. It is a shame that the Majority Party is putting “political points” and union interest before the economic well being of the people of Hawaii.

I urge the voters of Hawaii to contact their state representatives and senators and tell them not to override the Governor’s veto.