09.01.2008 0

Running for the Hills… or at least Diamond Head

  • On: 09/23/2008 17:26:21
  • In: Big Labor

  • As reported by ALG News
    , Governor Linda Lingle has vetoed the Hawaii legislature’s “streamlined” union certification bill that would eliminate secret ballot elections. And her veto has the very legislators who voted for it headed for the hills.

    Even though the bill was passed by veto-proof margins in both the State House and Senate, now those same legislators are reluctant about overriding Governor Lingle’s veto:

    “House leaders say they do not have the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto before the end of the session.

    “Although the proposal passed with just eight votes in opposition in the 51-member House, and by a 21-4 vote in the Senate, some Democrats have since indicated they are unwilling to override the veto, said House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell.

    “After polling members individually, ‘there aren’t the votes to override it,’ said Caldwell (D, Manoa).

    “Under the proposal, employees would only have to sign a card saying they were in favor of the union, and if a majority of the employees sign up, the union is authorized to bargain with management.”

    Not included in the story was the rationale for the House and Senate Democrats’ obvious about-face. In lieu of that information, ALG News shall draw a hypothesis of two likely scenarios as to why quite suddenly the votes are not present to override the veto, neither of which reflects very well upon the Democrat-controlled legislature.

    In the first scenario, perhaps the legislature did not look too closely at public support for such a proposal, and have since seen the polls on the matter and have concluded that forced unionization is a political loser.

    In the second scenario, perhaps the legislature passed the bill knowing it would be vetoed, and had merely done so to throw red meat to their union supporters. Then after the Governor issued her veto, they could say, “See, we tried, but it was vetoed.”

    Either way, it is clear that Hawaii’s legislature has taken flight from its previous position on this issue, which means the citizens of Hawaii can breathe a sigh of relief.

    ALG Perspective:
    This is good news for Hawaii, and we should be reminded that a victory for liberty somewhere is a victory for liberty everywhere. Whatever the legislature’s rationale for not overriding Governor Lingle’s veto of the union card-check bill, we can take solace that a worker’s right to a secret ballot has been preserved for now.

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