Hawaii Governor announces support for collective bargaining process in wake of Wisconsin protests

As the protests in Wisconsin continue and spill over into other states including Indiana and Ohio some governors are trying to quell any potential actions in their state by making statements of support for local unions. Yesterday, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie submitted his budget along with a statement about Hawaii’s approach to state workers unions.

The full statement was brief, but underlines the growing concern among state leaders that protests will come to their states.

Since taking office, I have been meeting regularly with public employees across the state—both as constituents and as a partner in serving the public interest. I’ve been listening and learning about how wecan make our government more effective and efficient.

We are about to enter into collective bargaining, which we plan to conduct out of mutual concern for the well-being of the people of our state and the ability of our government to meet basic public needs.

In Hawai’i, we don’t confront each other as adversaries; we discuss our mutual challenges in good faith; we meet as friends with a common goal. That will be how we conduct ourselves in the days ahead.”

Last night, democrats in Indiana left the state in order to block a republican labor bill aimed at unions. In California, observers say large protests are unlikely but a battle over pension benefits that has been raging for several budget cycles is expected to come to a head under pressure from the GOP there.

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