I believe that workers’ rights are human rights. Labor relations between workers and their employers must never be exploitative, and I believe government has a role in upholding a fair and productive labor dynamic that respects the dignity of workers.
The Right to Organize: I support the right of workers to organize and oppose any and all so called “right to work” initiatives.
Equal Pay for Equal Work: Equal pay for equal work is a bedrock principle. I will work to close the gender gap and end the practice of paying subminimum wages to disabled workers, and I will fight attempts to weaken non-discrimination laws.
Family Leave: I support paid family leave. More than just an employer-provided benefit, this policy is about helping working families thrive in Hawaiʻi. Family leave will strengthen our communities and increase productivity in the long run as workers can reach their full potentials when their family units are strong.
Raise the Wage: The minimum wage in Hawaiʻi is far too low to cover the cost of living here. I support efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and eliminate the tip credit. There is no single greater impact we can have on addressing poverty, rebuilding the middle class and strengthening our economy as we continue into the 21st century than to provide a living wage to our workforce.
Fair Scheduling: I support fair scheduling: Giving workers advance notice of their work schedule allows them to plan out the rest of their life and make arrangements for medical appointments, childcare and elder care, and is important for those pursuing an education. When an employer assigns a shift a day or two in advance or changes a worker’s schedule at the last minute it disrupts their life and often ends up costing them money.
Sick Days: Sick days are also more than simply an employee benefit: they are a matter of public health as well. In the 21st century, it will become increasingly important to monitor our health and take care of one another. Sick days allow workers to recharge and get well faster so that they can return to work at 100 percent. At the same time, we limit the spread of illness.
Protect Pensions: As noted in the Kupuna section, I am opposed to efforts to tax retirement benefits. Kupuna living on fixed incomes were made a promise that they would be taken care of, and we must honor that promise and their years of service and dedication to the communities in which they live.
Universal Child Care: Another policy that will be well worth the investment, universal child care will allow a huge section of the population to return to full employment more quickly after starting a new family. At the same time, it will offer employment opportunities in a public child care sector, generating additional economic and social benefits that will strengthen our communities. It might not happen overnight, but this needs to a goal of ours.
Universal Healthcare: I support a single payer healthcare system and will work to see it come to fruition in Hawaiʻi. In the meantime, I support efforts to expand coverage in Hawaiʻi and will defend prepaid health coverage. Expanding healthcare coverage will save society millions of dollars and keep our communities healthy and strong. I believe every human being has the right to good health.