Proposed Bill could force non-union workers to pay union dues
Bill 37 would require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for any City & County of Honolulu “Critical” construction project over $1,000,000.
"Critical" projects include road, wastewater, drainage, and park improvement projects.
A current example of a PLA project is the rail. John Romanowski of Jas. W. Glover, Ltd. says that all rail workers are being forced to pay union dues.
However, should Bill 37 pass, he says workers in non-union companies like his would be forced to pay these dues even if they do not want to join that union.
"They’re going to take our pension and put it in their account. We’d have to make changes in our family, family expenses, I guarantee you that," says Lucky Harris of Jas. W. Glover, Ltd.
Supporters of the bill claim union protections help all workers. They also say PLAs ensure a local workforce.
"Bill 37 makes sure 80% or more of the workforce is comprised of local workers," says Nathaniel Kinney of Hawaii Construction Alliance.
Kinney also touts the bill's stipulation that PLAs prevent unions from striking during a PLA project, ensuring an on-budget, on-time completion.
Romanowski, however, thinks Bill 37 could increase taxpayer costs, because contractors would increase the amount they charge the city.
Bill 37 is scheduled to be voted on in Wednesday's city council meeting.