HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Honolulu council gave us another display of the power of unions over politicians in Hawaii.
The council passed a new law that would require non-union contractors with big city contracts to hire unionized workers under what is called a community workforce agreement.
The proposal would require the city to negotiate these agreements with the trade unions – most likely without construction companies at the table.
The agreement would set the terms of work and not allow the workers to stop work or strike if there is a dispute.
Supporters promise this would guarantee labor peace on crucial projects, and say it has worked well in other big cities.
But the people who know this industry best – the contractors, both non-union and unionized – have come out strongly against the proposal, saying it will raise the price of contracts, reduce competition and make it harder to manage their projects.
This is a piece of legislation that, at the very, least needs either more study or a test period to see how it works.
It’s now on Mayor Caldwells desk. His response will tell us how willing he is to question the union agenda on the eve of the next campaign for governor.