The History of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO

Founded in 1966, the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO has since emerged as a vital advocate for Hawai’i’s workforce, persisting for over half a century. Comprising 74 affiliated unions and councils, this federation maintains a strong connection with its parent, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), through its granted charter. As one of the 51 state federations across the nation, Hawai’i State AFL-CIO forms an integral part of a broad, collaborative labor movement.

Although it doesn’t directly engage in bargaining with employers, Hawai’i State AFL-CIO acts as a ‘union of unions’. This federation has found its unique role in representing the collective labor movement before state and county government entities. By wielding the collective strength of Hawai’i’s labor movement, it strives to protect and further the interests of all workers and their families in the state.

At the core of its purpose, Hawai’i State AFL-CIO promotes a unified voice and joint action within the labor movement. It provides a platform for affiliates to exchange ideas, make decisions, support political candidates, advocate for beneficial legislation, and coordinate other mutually agreed-upon goals, programs, and services.

Within the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO, a robust leadership structure exists, which includes a President and forty-four Vice Presidents, all of whom are elected from among the affiliates. These dedicated leaders guide the federation toward accomplishing shared objectives, reflecting its commitment to the aspirations of Hawai’i’s working men and women. This is all achieved through democratic processes and within the constitutional framework of the government.

Hawai’i State AFL-CIO is deeply committed to the principles of free collective bargaining. It aids and supports its affiliates in organizing workers into unions while advocating for legislation and public policy that safeguards and promotes labor rights. Regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, or ancestry, it aspires to ensure all workers share equally in the benefits of union organization.

As the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO continues on its journey, it is staunchly committed to equal pay for equal work, building resilient communities with strong family units, and establishing a politically potent force within the labor movement. The adopted Worker’s Bill of Rights symbolizes this commitment, aiming to enhance the lives of working families, bring fairness and dignity to the workplace, and advocate for a working family agenda at all governmental levels.

In the pursuit of these noble objectives, the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO invites ongoing support. United, they continue to make a meaningful impact in the lives of Hawai’i’s workers and contribute significantly to the continual progress of this beautiful state.