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The News

The latest news from the ILWU Local 142!

March 31, 2009 - Your help needed to pass free choice law


What is Employee Free Choice?
The Employee Free Choice Act, being considered by Congress, will allow workers instead
of employers to decide if "card check" is used for union recognition and will provide for
binding arbitration of a first contract if the union and the employer cannot reach
agreement. Workers who want a union can exercise their right with less interference from
their employers and the ultimate protection of a union contract.

The Hawaii Employee Free Choice Act will do the same for workers not under the
jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act.

March 12, 2009 - Barack Obama Senior in 1962

 Barack Obama Sr.

Barack Obama (senior) was one of the featured speakers at a Mother’s Peace Rally in Ala
Moana Park on Sunday May 13, 1962. ILWU leaders, including Jack Hall, joined the march and
rally. Obama, an African student from Kenya studying economics at the University of Hawaii
Afro-American Affairs Institute, told the crowd of 350, “Anything which relieves military spending
will help us...Peace will release great resources...”
    The march for peace was featured in the May 18, 1962 issue of the VOICE OF THE
ILWU. Other speakers included Patsy Mink, Thomas Gill, Ralph Vanderslice, Rev. Nicolas
Dizon, Rev. Seikan Higra, Rabbi Roy Rosenberg, Rev. Delwyn Rayson, and Dr. John Mollet.
    The ILWU was opposed to the escalating US involvement in Vietnam and held many
activities to educate its members and the public.
    Barack Obama Senior had married Ann Dunham in February 1961 and Barack Junior,
who was born on August 4, 1961, would have been 10 months old at the time.
    Barack Senior came to Hawaii in 1959 with a scholarship sponsored by Kenyan
nationalists to educate gifted Kenyan students as the country fought for independence from
British Colonial rule. Obama graduated from the University of Hawaii in June 1962, earning his
degree in three years with a straight A average and Phi Betta Kappa honors. He left Hawaii on
June 22 with a scholarship to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Obama’s marriage to Ann Dunham did not last long. They separated in 1962 and
Dunham filed for divorce in January 1964 and was back in Hawaii with son Barack Jr.
    In 1965, Barack Sr. graduated from Harvard with a master’s degree in economics and
returned to Africa where he served as an economist with the government of the now
independent Kenya. Barack Sr. saw his son only one more time in a brief visit to Hawaii in
1971. Barack Jr. was attending Punahou School and living with Dunham’s parents.
    Barack Sr. died in an auto accident in 1982 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Peace Rally 1962

Jan. 21, 2009 - ILWU Legislative Program
ILWU union political action program will focus on passing legislation in five areas during the 2009 Legislative Session. The top priority will be the passage of an Employee Free Choice Act for union recognition. This came close to passing in 2008 but failed to get enough support to override Governor’s Lingle veto.

1. Employee Right to Join Unions. Provides for card check union recognition under the Hawaii Labor Relations Act and for mediated and arbitrated first contracts. This change would provide an alternative to the secret ballot elections under current law, which allows some employers to abuse the process and prevent a fair election.

2. Employee Retention. Provides for workers to retain their jobs when companies are purchased, when ownership or management changes, when a lease is transferred, or when assets are sold and/or transferred and the business operations continue in a similar mode as under the previous owner or management. The US lags far behind most Western European countries, which have strong laws that protect workers rights and jobs.  

3. Protect Workers Compensation. Maintain the existing “presumption clause” in the Workers’ Compensation law. Provide that injured workers continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits (wages and medical treatment) during any period that their claim is being investigated or under appeal. Provide for timely payments when a claim is made. Provide that if an injured worker is denied compensability and then wins compensability on appeal, the cost of the appeal will be paid by the insurance carrier. Address problem of physicians declining to treat Workers’ Compensation cases because of the paperwork and/or the medical fee schedule. Establish panels of medical providers from which the claimant and insurer shall mutually elect a physician to perform an Independent Medical Examination (IME). A rating shall not be performed at the same time as the IME.

4. Harbor Development. Strong support for harbor development throughout the State of Hawaii. Waterfront development must prioritize the need to provide for growing manifested cargo operations and not compromise the safe working conditions for the employees.

5. Senior Programs. Strong support for programs that benefit senior citizens.
Jan. 14, 2009 - ILWU VP George Martin passes

ILWU VP Emeritus George Martin passed away on January 14, 2009. He is survived by his wife, Mary Dorothy; a son, Tom; daughters, Shirley Martin Breon, Loretta Matsumoto, and Susan Baker; and 10 grandchildren. Services were held on January 21, 2009.

Brother Martin was the Hawaii Division Director from 1952 until 1971, when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term as International ILWU Vice-President Director of Organization, a vacancy created by the untimely death of Jack Hall on January 2, 1971. For the next 10 years, Brother Martin was re-elected International Vice-President until his decision to retire and return to Hawaii in 1983.

The International ILWU 25th Biennial Convention held in Portland, Oregon from April 11-16, 1983, honored Brother Martin by conferring on him the title of Vice- President Emeritus.

In Hawaii, Local 142 honored Brother Martin at its Convention held from September 19-23, 1983. The Hawaii Convention passed a resolution which recognized his contribution to the union and noted, “Brother Martin exemplifies the principles of democratic, rank and file unionism that the ILWU is known for; he has been involved with the ILWU for all of his adult working life.”  

Jan. 22, 2009 - Celebration of Ah Quon set for Feb. 28, 2009
 A Celebration of Life is being planned for February 28, 2009 at the IL WU Hall in Honolulu from 10:00 am to 12 noon. Parking will not be available at the ILWU so plan on parking at the Convention Center or elsewhere.

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