On May 1st, 2024 we hosted our 4th Annual May Day/ International Workers’ Day March and Rally, in collaboration with the Defend and Respect Hawaiʻi’s Workers Coalition. May 1st, May Day, or International Workers’ Day is a holiday honoring workers that is celebrated all over the world. First proclaimed in 1890 in commemoration of the struggle of American workers for the 8 hour workday, May Day celebrates what workers have overcome.

Legislators killed almost all of our progressive bills this session, prompting us to bring our May Day March and Rally straight to the Capitol to express our disappointment.

After marching to the Capitol, our speakers shared about the history of May Day and its significance for the HWC. They demanded an end to the genocide in Gaza, the cancellation of RIMPAC, gave a legislative recap, and shared updates on organized labor in Hawaiʻi including the Hawaiʻi Nurses Association and UNITE HERE Local 5. 

In response to the legislature killing Academic Labor United (ALU)’s bill that would have established a collective bargaining unit, ALU President, Dianne Deauna, shares, “We want to send a message to the legislature; all you did was make a bunch of very smart, very capable people very angry.”

In this spirit, we donʻt agonize; we organize. It’s an opportunity to build worker power rather than let it lead us to despair. Together we will build a Hawaiʻi that puts workers first.

Mahalo to KITV’s Diane Ako for covering the march and rally. Read this excerpt from the full article:

“About 200 people took to the streets, calling attention to their cause. Unite Here Local 5 Senior Vice President Eric Gill noted, “Working people are standing up. It’s long overdue. It’s good for society.”

Raymond Catania, 74, is a state retiree who needed to keep working after that retirement to make ends meet. He is now a home health aide. His wife is a hotel housekeeper who also works as a home health aide. Between them, they have four jobs. “For most working people, even though they don’t want to admit it, one job is not enough. They have to work side jobs,” he said.

This year’s march and rally to the Capitol concludes the May Day at the Legislature! Week of Action that highlighted key legislative priorities such as housing for locals and fire survivors, protecting water resources, access to quality and affordable childcare, tax relief for working families, clean elections, and Hawaii’s support for a ceasefire resolution in Gaza.”

“The only answer to organized greed is organized labor.” – Thomas Donahue

To get organized, contact:

HWC Oʻahu Organizers:

HWC Maui Organizers:

Mahalo to our community partners who joined our “May Day at the Legislature: Week of Action”!

 Defend and Respect Hawai‘i’s Workers Coalition

Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice

Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action

Unite Here! Local 5

Hawaiʻi Nurses Association

Hawaiʻi State Teachers Staff Organization

Academic Labor United

Common Cause

Maui Tenants Association

ILWU International

Our Hawai‘i Action

Clean Elections Hawai‘i

Catholic Charities Hawai‘i

Democratic Socialists of Oʻahu

HCAN Speaks!

Chamber of Sustainable Commerce

HULI PAC

Anakbayan Hawaiʻi

Tagnawa for Maui

Gender Equity Movement Club at University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa

Rise for Palestine

Hawai‘i Filipinos for Truth, Justice & Democracy

Hawaiʻi Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

Jewish Voice for Peace Hawai‘i

Kaua‘i for Palestine

Kona 4 Palestine

One Fair Wage