What have we been up to?

  • In March, we presented an inspirational forum on the Marine Cooks and Stewards union to more than 35 folks at the UPW hall.  Thanks to support from the AQ McElrath Fund and Hawai'i People's Fund, and sponsorships from SIU, UPW, Port Council, ILWU, LaborFest Hawaii, and Local 5, we not only were able to bring Stanford historian Estelle Freedman to Hawai'i to lead the event, but we had a great spread of ono food for everyone to enjoy!
  • Working with our allies, we continue to build support for pro-worker legislation, including the campaign to increase Hawai'i's minimum wage, during the 2013 legislative session;
  • P@WHI marched with the Hawaii State AFL-CIO in the Martin Luther King Day Parade;
  • In December, we showed our support of Hawai‘i public school teachers by turning out folks to their Work to Rule rallies;
  • In November, six chapter members attended and participated in our planning meeting to help set the chapter’s agenda and priorities for the next 18 months, which was presented to the membership at our November membership meeting; P@WHI also co-sponsored Transgender Day of Remembrance events at UH;
  • In October, in partnership with PFLAG Kaua'i, we presented a 'Workers Coming Out Day' forum in Lihu'e, featuring a showing of "Out At Work" and a panel discussion with LGBT working people;
  • In September, we were awarded a grant (our second!) from the Ah Quon McElrath Fund for Economic and Social Justice, in support of our ongoing work, five chapter members attended and participated in the Pride At Work Triennial national convention, and  we co-sponsored LaborFest Hawai'i's showing of "The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting for Superman (which also featured a panel discussion);
  • In August, HSTA joined HGEA, Local 5, ILWU Local 142, USW Local 12-591, UHPA , IAM Lodge 1998, and the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO, to become the eighth local labor organization to be an organizational supporter of P@WHI;
  • In August, P@WHI surveyed all candidates for State legislative offices to get their views on civil rights, workers rights, women’s rights, and other issues, and posted the results to build public awareness;
  • In July, we learned that our Chapter’s membership growth had ensured us our own seat on the P@W National Executive Board;
  • In June 2012's Pride events, we had our first-ever parade float (featuring 5 members dressed as workers dancing to “9 to 5” and “She Works Hard For the Money”) and a booth at which over 100 attendees signed on to our Boycott Hyatt campaign; also in June, we presented a LGBT community boycott pledge poster - listing almost every local LGBT organization and over 100 community members - to Hyatt management;
  • In April, P@WHI received our first-ever grant from Hawai'i People's Fund (including a matching grant from the Hawai'i Community Foundation) to support our ongoing work and leadership development;
  • In March, we celebrated the 100th birthday of the gay civil rights, labor and non-violence activist Bayard Rustin, with a showing of a documentary about his life at UPW, and we organized a boycott-support action at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki where we leafletted and spoke with patrons about why Hyatt doesn't deserve LGBT support;
  • In February, we turned out to support Pacific Beach Hotel workers in their years-long struggle for a collective voice at work, advocated for State legislation to increase the minimum wage, protect unemployed workers from discrimination, and make it easier to change gender on birth certificates, and we spoke out against attempts to take away job protections from public school teachers and principals;
  • monthly pau hana talk-story events, ongoing support of LGBT working people and labor unions, and information sharing through our email list, website, and Facebook page.
None of this would've been possible without the support and involvement of our members, supporters and allies.   Mahalo!!

Pride At Work national convention

Below is a report on Pride At Work's recent national convention.  Five P@W Hawai'i members attended (from HGEA, Local 5, HSTA, USW, Musicians), with chapter president Steve Dinion participating in panel discussions on chapter organizing and creative actions.  Mahalo to HGEA and Local 5, each of whom sponsored their member, and to our organizational supporters (Hawai'i State AFL-CIO, HSTA, UHPA, Machinists 1998, Local 5, HGEA, ILWU 142, and USW 12-591) for their support.

LGBT Labor Puts "Boots on the Ground", Elects New Officers

Record Number of Union Presidents Address Pride at Work Convention in Cleveland

September 19, 2012:  A record number of national union leaders joined LGBT activists and allies at the Pride at Work Triennial Convention, held September 12-15 in Cleveland, Ohio. Among the union leaders who called for equal rights at the convention were: Veda Shook, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants; Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Augusta Thomas, National Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); Annie Hill, Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America (CWA); and Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO.

Approximately 200 activists attended the convention, more than three times as many who attended the previous national Pride at Work Convention, held in Pittsburgh in 2009. Delegates came from 26 states and Ontario, representing 18 unions from both of the national labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win. Leaders of other union coalition organizations also addressed the convention, including Terry Melvin, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU); Gregory Cendana, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI); and Karen See, President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW).

The convention passed resolutions supporting the efforts of striking Chicago teachers and the boycott of Hyatt hotels, where housekeepers and other hotel workers face dangerous workloads and risk replacement by low-paid temporary workers. Delegates voted to support annual participation in the Transgender Day of Remembrance and to expand efforts "to achieve full respect, dignity and justice for transgender and nonconforming workers," including outreach activities, skills trainings and mentoring efforts. Additional resolutions called for support of organizing for racial justice, mobilizing young workers, and increasing efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Delegates voted to increase support for union-made products and union services; to develop new programs to increase support for LGBT workers internationally; and rally for passage of pay-check fairness legislation and for passage of the DREAM Act. They called for unions throughout the country to push for LGBT inclusive union contracts and transgender-inclusive health care. They called for a National Day of Action on Feb. 1, 2013, in support of transgender-inclusive health care.

The delegates passed other resolutions addressing abuses by companies such as T-Mobile and American Airlines which market to the LGBT community while undermining the rights of LGBT and other workers. They called on American Airlines to recognize the right of service agents to organize and urged LGBT organizations receiving funding from the company to join a broad campaign recognizing the fundamental and legal rights of employees to vote on union representation.

The convention called on T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom to give their American workforce the same organizing rights enjoyed by the company's workers in other regions of the world. They called on the company to stop marketing to the LGBT community in the U.S. while simultaneously seeking to prevent their LGBT employees from securing recognition and rights through collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to convention business, delegates participated in a "Boots on the Ground" voter registration drive in the Cleveland area on the final day of their meeting. Masen Davis from Transgender Law Center and Augusta Thomas from AFGE received special honors at a Celebrating Solidarity dinner held during the convention.

The convention unanimously elected a new slate of Pride at Work officers to lead the organization for the next three years. Shane Larson (CWA) and Lori Pelletier (IAM) were elected Co-President; Shellea Allen (UNITE-HERE) and Gabriel Halaand (SEIU) were elected Co-Vice President; Bess Watts (AFSCME) was elected Vice President of Organizing; Gregory J. King (AFSCME) was elected Treasurer; and Tiffany Heath (TNG-CWA) was elected Secretary.

The new slate of officers includes national union staff, a state federation officer, local union president, organizers, political representatives and local union representatives. It is geographically, ethnically, racially and gender diverse, and includes representatives from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities.

"We are at a critical juncture for our labor movement as well as the LGBT movement," noted Larson. "The enemies of organizing don't care if you are gay or straight, transgender or bisexual or what color your skin is or your faith, they are out to see that workers lose their voice and it is up to us to fight back."

"Pride at Work is the voice in the LGBT community explaining how stronger and better off our community is by growing the labor movement and focusing on organizing members of our community," said Pelletier.

Both newly elected co-presidents credited the out-going leadership team of Donna Cartwright and Stan Kino for helping develop Pride at Work into one of the premier LGBT organizations in this country. They committed themselves to expanding the efforts to build the organization's chapters around the country and to providing a strong voice in the labor movement for the LGBT community.

Welcoming HSTA as P@WHI supporter!

September 2012

Pride At Work Hawai'i is excited to announce that the Hawaii State Teachers Association (NEA) has become our newest organizational supporter! HSTA joins HGEA, UNITE HERE Local 5, Machinists Lodge 1998, ILWU Local 142, UHPA, and United Steel Workers Local 12-591, as well as the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO, in supporting our work and standing in solidarity with LGBT working people and their families.  Links to their websites are below.

Mahalo nui loa to all of our supporters!

AIKEA: a new political movement for Hawai'i's people

August 2012

Pride At Work Hawai'i members, along with other community activists and leaders from the labor, LGBT, environmental, and civil rights communities, have formed AIKEA, a "new political movement."

To learn more about Aikea, read the platform here and join the email list here.  You can also go to the Aikea: I Vote! Facebook page here and "like" it.

2012 Hawai'i Legislative Candidate Survey

What do the people who want to represent us in the Legislature think about transgender health care coverage, increasing the minimum wage, and protecting students from bullying?

Pride At Work Hawai'i sent a survey to all candidates for State House and Senate on issues of particular importance to us, including: LGBT equality, women's rights, workers' rights, immigration and health care.  Candidates were given the opportunity to comment as well.  Ten Senate candidates and thirty-one House candidates responded; survey results are posted here.

We share this Report to assist voters in making an informed decision; please share with others whom you believe would be interested in this information.  Please note that Pride At Work Hawai'i does not endorse candidates.

Saturday, August 11 is primary election day in Hawai'i - if you haven't already voted by mail or walk-in, you can find information about your polling place here. Polls open at 7AM and close at 6PM.  Races are on for US Senate, US House of Representatives, City and County Councils, Mayors, and all 76 State House and Senate seats.  Please make sure to vote!!

We'd like to thank all candidates who responded - and all of you for taking part in the political process: in the voting booth, at the Capitol and City Hall, in your unions and on the streets!
Great news!  Thanks to the strong response to our membership campaign, our chapter has qualified for our own seat on Pride At Work's national executive board!  While Steve Dinion currently serves on this board as one of two elected representatives for several smaller chapters, this change in status means we'll have a representative of our own for the next three years!

P@W's national executive board is the governing body for Pride At Work.  The board includes elected officers (elections will be held this September at the triennial national convention in Cleveland) and chapter representatives from across the US (current chapters include Boston, Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rochester NY, Washington DC/Baltimore, Ohio, Michigan, San Francisco, Portland OR, Seattle, San Diego, South Bay CA, and Los Angeles).  It also includes representatives from several major international unions, including: UNITE HERE, SEIU, AFSCME, Machinists, NEA, SAG-AFTRA, CWA and NNU. 

Being on this board gives us the chance to be part of the national conversation on LGBT and labor issues, helping set priorities for the entire organization and connecting us directly with the AFL-CIO and some of the most energetic and powerful unions in the labor movement.  It allows us to keep on top of key struggles and issues effecting working people across the country, including nation-wide contract campaigns at Hyatt and T-Mobile, building support for transgender-inclusive health care, holding Wall Street accountable through a financial transactions tax, pushing back against voter suppression tactics, ending the US military presence in Afghanistan, and fighting for universal health care.  Finally, it serves as a network for the fourteen fiesty and innovative Pride At Work chapters to share strategies and information on organizing at the local level, inspiring us to try new ideas and keep our work going.

July events

Pau hana pa'ina and talk story

Friday, July 20
Chiko's Tavern (930 McCully St.)

Please join us once again for our monthly third Friday pau hana to recover from the work week with great company, good food (free!), and interesting conversation!  Everyone who supports LGBT workers rights is welcome - please bring a friend!

June events


June pau hana

Please join us for our Pride-ful pau hana pa'ina, Friday, June 15, 5:30-7:00PM at Chiko's (930 McCully St.).  As always, we'll have free pupus, great conversation, and good company.  Feel free to bring a friend or co-worker!


Join us for Pride!

Saturday, June 2
Parade: 10AM (meet at 8:30 to help with float), Magic Island to Kapiolani Park
Celebration: 11AM - 5PM, Kapiolani Park (please visit our booth!)

This year, Pride at Work Hawai'i will have its first ever float for the Pride Parade -- and it will be the most epic float ever including costumes, music, chants and the most fabulous group of people on Oahu. We need:
  • marchers
  • float riders (dressed up in work uniforms), and
  • drivers.
If you're interested contact Morgan at morganthursday(at)yahoo.com. We will be meeting at Magic Island at 8:30 am.

May Events

Pau hana pa'ina and talk story/membership meeting

Friday, May 18, 5:30-7:00
Tapa's Lanai Bar (407 Seaside Ave., Waikiki)

Why should LGBT rights matter to labor unions?  How does building union power benefit the LGBT community? 

Please join us for our next pau hana pa'ina and talk story (and membership meeting), when we'll focus on the intersection of economic and social justice issues and the importance (if not necessity) of building solidarity.  Feel free to bring friends, family, fellow union members and/or co-workers.  RSVP here (please let us know if you're vegetarian). 

Metered parking available at the municipal lot on Kuhio (makai side of the street, near Kaiolu St.).

As background, feel free to read "How Organized Labor Helped Win Marriage Equality in Maryland and Washington - and What We Can Learn."

April events

A Call to Action to Defend Women's Rights 
Saturday, April 28 (a national day of action)
State Capitol
Rally and Signwaving
Bring a sign 
There's a war being waged on Women! The reproductive rights issue is only one of the targets. From stripping education budgets that gravely rob our children, to rolling back equal pay laws and domestic violence protections, to changing voting laws that disproportionately affect minorities and WOMEN -- we say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  Help defend women's rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, "Enough is enough!" 
Sponsored by UniteWomen.org
For more information, contact Carolyn Haley: carolyn.haley[at]gmail.com] / 808-551-0582

Rainbow Rising: Community, Solidarity and Scholarship
A symposium on sexuality and gender expression in Asia-Pacific law and policy
Saturday, April 7, 2012 (application deadline: April 1)
9AM-8PM (includes lunch and dinner)
Richardson School of Law, UH-Manoa
$70 ($15 for students)

Rainbow Rising: Community, Solidarity & Scholarship, presented by Lambda Law Students Association at UH-Manoa, will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at the William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.  We will be bringing together scholars and legal activists from throughout Asia and Oceania to discuss gender and sexuality as they relate to both local and global  issue and developments. Rainbow Rising will be a day-long event featuring five prestigious speakers and a panel discussion, infused with local art, entertainment, and Hawaiian food. Join us for this unique opportunity! 

Pride At Work Hawai'i April pau hana pa'ina

April 20, 5:30-7:00
Chiko's Tavern (930 McCullySt.)
Free pupus, great conversation, in a relaxing environment.  Please join us! 

March events

Hyatt Hurts: Dirty Laundry Exposed
International Women's Day Event in support of Hyatt workers
March 8, 4:00-5:30PM
In front of Hyatt Regency Waikiki (Uluniu and Kalakaua Ave.), Honolulu
Presented by women workers and the Alliance for Quality of Life; outfits designed to send a message to the Hyatt management will be modeled on the runway!
Hyatt's abuse hurts our community and disrespects women with unsafe working conditions and excessive workloads.
For more information, call Lauren at 941-2141 ext. 222, or visit www.hyatthurts.org

Break the Code of Silence
March 10, 1:00-3:30PM
Studio 909, 909 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
A call for inclusion, equality and safety of LGBT Youth. Screening of award winning documentary, Out in the Silence, followed by discussion and talk story with the filmmakers.
A safe space for frank conversation. Families are encouraged to come together.
Free but seating is limited. RSVP with number attending to <peoples@lava.net>

Celebrating Bayard Rustin
March 16, 6-8:30PM
UPW union hall (1426 N. School St., Honolulu)

FREE event honoring the centenary of African-American civil rights pioneer, non-violence organizer, and gay Quaker labor activist Bayard Rustin on the eve of what would have been his 100th birthday. 
Presented by Pride At Work Hawai'i; co-sponsors include UPW (AFSCME Local 646), UNITE HERE Local 5, UHPA, Pride Alliance Hawai‘i, and members of the Honolulu Friends Meeting (Quakers).  Pupus, drinks and popcorn will be provided; limited free parking is available at the hall. While the event is FREE, donations will be gratefully accepted.
Bayard Rustin mentored Martin Luther King in the use of Gandhian non-violence, organized the 1963 March on Washington, and helped build powerful coalitions between the labor and civil rights movements; but today he is largely forgotten or ignored.  Celebrating Bayard Rustin provides an opportunity to explore the life of a masterful, charismatic organizer and activist who endured multiple arrests and imprisonments - including in a federal prison for refusing military service during World War II and in a Southern jail for challenging segregation in 1949 - and helped establish or expand important national organizations like the Congress of Racial Equality, Southern Christian Leadership Council, War Resisters League, Fellowship of Reconciliation and the A. Philip Randolph Institue.
Celebrating Bayard Rustin will present his story with a showing of the award-winning 2003 documentary "Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin", followed by an informal discussion, to provide additional understanding of the history of the US civil rights and anti-war movements (and how they were impacted by homophobia) and the ways that our multiple identities affect the work we do.
RSVPs appreciated at 543-6054 or prideatworkhawaii@hawaiiantel.net.

February Events

Pacific Beach Hotel Workers Rally for Justice
Wednesday, February 15,  4:30 p.m. to 5:30PM
Pacific Beach Hotel, 2490 Kalakaua Ave.
Would you fight for 10 years to get justice?*
*The workers at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki have been fighting for the past 10 years for workplace justice.
After 10 years of struggling in the face of management law-breaking and winning almost every legal ruling against the Hotel, Pacific Beach workers are still fighting for fairness and dignity in the workplace.  Community support has helped Pacific Beach Hotel workers keep up their spirits during this long fight. Labor unions, faith leaders, educators and others have signed petitions, rallied at the Hotel, donated to a free store for the workers, organized an international boycott of Pacific Beach Hotel, met with the workers and more.
Please attend this rally to show your support!

Pride At Work Hawai'i February pau hana pa'ina
Please join us Friday, February 17, 5:30-7:00PM at Chiko's Tavern (930 McCully St.).  Free pupus and great conversation in a relaxed atmosphere - so bring a friend!

Community Organizing 101
Workshop presented by Hawai'i Peoples Fund
Saturday, February 18, 9AM-1PM
Presenters: Lucy Gay and Cade Watanabe
Cost: $40
What happens if you want to help your community and you have an idea? What comes next? How do you organize your community? This workshop will help clarify goals, objectives, strategies and tactics of community organizing, as well as help participants understand various theories of social change.
Materials and light morning refreshments.
Call 593-9969 for more information and to see if room is available.

The New Jim Crow: Crimmigration, Youth, and Dissent 
WHEN:  FEBRUARY, 28, 4-5:30pm                              
WHERE: CRAWFORD 115                                               
PANELISTS: Isabel Castillo, Andrea Margot Ortega, Jonathan Perez, and Maria Rodgriquez
Immigrant youth represent one of the most outspoken and militant sections of the immigrant rights movement today.   Young migrants have gone on hunger strikes to press for access to higher education for youth who are undocumented, and engaged in civil disobedience to push back against the escalating criminalization of the members of their communities dehumanized as “illegal.” 
Join the conversation about how high school and college-age students are organizing themselves to challenge the repression, terror, and violation of rights directed at immigrants through stepped up detention, deportation, and anti-immigrant laws.
The four members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance will share their own stories, and facilitate a discussion based on a new documentary Bad Dreamers, by New York-based digital media artist and filmmaker, Alex Rivera, about the courageous acts of civil disobedience by undocumented youth.

Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies and Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity (SEED) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
The event is free and open to the public.                           
RED without BLUE: a lesson for gay and transgender organizing
Film and discussion presented by Lambda Law Students Association
Tuesday, February 28, 5:30-8:00PM Richardson Law School at UH-Manoa
The film Red Without Blue looks at the lives of two twin brothers. Mark is gay while Alex undergoes a transformation to become Clair.
Speakers: Jenny (mom) from the film will share her insight/story about raising her family. Andy South (Project Runway designer, community organizer) will share his personal stories in relation to the film.
The Lambda Law Student Association hopes you will join us for a film viewing and discussion addressing the complexity of sexual orientation and gender identity. Film will start at 6pm with presentation/discussion to follow. We will serve pizza and salad!

January Events

January pau hana pa'ina: January 20
With the 2012 Hawai'i State Legislative session only days away, and 2012's election cycle (locally and nationally) in full swing, this is a great time to check in on what issues Hawai'i's LGBT working people and allies are most concerned about.  For our January pau hana, please join Pride At Work Hawai'i this Friday, January 20, at Chiko's Tavern (930 McCully St., one block makai from King St.) to talk story with other LGBT working people and allies about these and/or other concerns.  We'll start with the free pupus at 5:30 (provided with support from the Hawai'i State AFL-CIO), and be pau by 7:00 (unless you want to stay for karaoke!).  And as always, please bring a friend!

2012 Martin Luther King Day Parade
Please join Pride At Work Hawai‘i this Monday, January 16, for the 2012 Martin Luther King Day Parade to celebrate King's legacy of non-violent resistance to injustice. We will be marching with the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO contingent; look for our banner by the Ulu Mau parking lot across from Magic Island (the parade starts at 9AM).Meet at 7:45AM at Magic Island for pre-parade rally with the theme, "We Are The Many." The parade will be followed by a unity rally at Kapiolani Park from 11AM-4PM.

Pride At Work Hawai'i Out and Organizing!