In State Director

Our Union Our Family, Health and Wellness 1st



With recent developments over the weekend and additional bold declarations issued by Governor Ige and Mayors Caldwell, Victorino, Kawakami and Kim, our state, communities and people are in a virtual shutdown.  Paraphrasing Mayor Kawakami, “the State of Hawaii is on vacation.” The response of our government leaders in a concerted and determined strategy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic health and safety issue of our people is necessary.

Our UPW, a Union representing 13,000 members throughout the state, engage daily in ensuring that core infrastructure of our communities not only continue, but THRIVE in this time of crisis. Our work involves the first line of defense including emergency medical response, healthcare facilities (acute and long term care), mental and community health centers, correctional facilities, water and wastewater, refuse, state and county buildings, public housing, and so much more.  Individually and together, the functions we perform are essential to the public’s health and welfare.

Employers, public and private, are assessing and evaluating core functions of their workforce.  Determinations have and will continue to be made regarding functions that provide services that need to be performed.  If determined that your function is a service essential to the community, the pride that we display during normal times must reign throughout this unprecedented times.


We must at the same time ensure the health and safety of our families and loved ones.   Caring starts at home.  Assure yourselves that family health and family safety has been addressed.  Then if called upon by your employer as an employee whose functions are required, you can report fully and completely to the job at at hand.

That is OUR challenge. To come together. We all must have each others’ back, being responsible and holding ourselves accountable for the good and welfare of others.

Our Union, Our Family


Dayton M. Nakanelua
UPW State Director

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