Support the freedom of people to join labor unions

Working families on Maui need a leg up, and they get the boost they need with the freedom to join in strong unions. Unions have always provided the best path to the middle class for working people. As a history teacher at Lahainaluna High School, I know that a strong union is what helps teachers to ensure students receive the tools and resources they need to succeed in school and in life.

Through my union, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, I have the freedom to negotiate for pay that can provide stability for my family, and to push for the learning opportunities my students need — such as smaller class sizes and educational decisions being made with the input of teachers who know their students’ needs.

The truth is, unions use their collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit all working people — like increases to the minimum wage, affordable health care and great public schools.

Unfortunately, some corporate special interests have rigged our economy and now want to make it even harder for workers to use our collective power. They have brought a meritless case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, in the hope of dividing working people, silencing us and limiting the power we have in numbers. They know how powerful we can be when we speak together for our students, families and communities. It is time for us to come together and support the freedom of working people to join labor unions.

Mike Landes