Worker’s Rights

elect Shannon Matson

We need a living wage in Hawaii. Our current cost of living continues to climb here and our workers deserve a living wage. I participated in the “Fight for $15!” campaign and believe that we need to do even better. If elected I would be opposed to ANY further raises for elected officials until we pass a TRUE “Living wage” bill that supports all of our workers. 

Unions have given us some of the greatest advancements in workers rights in the history of the industrialized age. I absolutely support all employees to organize and continue to work for their own rights and the rights of all workers in Hawai’i and beyond. 

I believe the number one concern for Hawaii’s workers is equal pay for equal work due to our ever increasing cost of living. This is a huge concern and one that I would work hard to address. I will fight for a living wage for all of Hawaii’s workers. With the COVID-19 crisis our focus is shifting to realize that we need to diversify away from tourism and have other opportunities to earn a living wage in Hawaii. I will use my office to help create and support other economic opportunities and help make Hawaii a leader in green jobs and innovative career pathways.   

Legislation increasing our minimum wage and universal healthcare would both protect and support a better quality of life for our workers. If workers felt valued and knew that their healthcare needs were being met we would have less turnover and higher morale and productivity. Hawaii could truly be a great place to live and work if all of our workers were paid what they deserve and had their basic health needs covered regardless of where they worked and for how long. 

Workers need paid sick leave so our workers don’t have to choose between paying their bills or recovering from a flu. As we are all experiencing on some level currently, it is a matter of public health that when someone is feeling ill they are able to take time off to recover and not expose others. The more people feel they HAVE to go to work because they can’t afford to miss a day, the less likely they are to stay home and rest. This leads to lower productivity and potentially puts other employees and customers at risk. 

We need to divest away from an economy based entirely on tourism. If we had more options our economy and workers wouldn’t be under so much financial strain due to global pandemics, lava eruptions, hurricanes, etc. We also need to update our technological systems so that our workers can get their questions answered in regards to Unemployment Insurance. Currently, waiting weeks for UI claims to be approved, or to even log into the system or get through on the phones is unacceptable. We need to upgrade these antiquated systems and be able to provide quick and accurate help to our workers in times of crisis.