Governor Wishes All a Happy Labor Day
August 29, 2003
Murkowski earlier this week hosted a reception for the state's negotiating team at the Governor's residence in Juneau.
"I am pleased to report that our labor relations team is in place and set to begin the process of negotiations," Murkowski said. "Our goal is to achieve new, three-year contracts that continue to provide fair wages and benefits to our dedicated public employees, and to get to that objective in a timely manner."
Murkowski wished Alaskans a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, noting the contribution labor has historically made to the state and nation. "Americans are the hardest-working people on the planet, and recent surveys indicate most are happy and enthusiastic about the work they are doing," he said. "There have been three key elements that came together in America labor, capital, abundant natural resources with the freedom to apply them over the past two centuries. That is what has made America what it is today, and Alaska, as a resource-state, is a happy participant in that great experiment. That's what we reflect on this Labor Day."
Murkowski also said he was pleased that former administration commissioners Andy Warwick of Fairbanks and Bill Hudson of Juneau have agreed to assist in the effort. Both men helped to negotiate the one-year extensions beginning last November immediately after Murkowski was elected. Warwick owns an accounting business in Fairbanks, and Hudson represented Juneau in the State House of Representatives for 14 years.
"Bill Hudson and Andy Warwick bring a depth of knowledge, experience and seasoned negotiating skills to the process, and have shown they can work well with Commissioner Mike Miller and his labor relations team," Murkowski said. "We are fortunate to have them available for these crucial negotiations."
"Public employees are in the same situation as private employees," Miller said. "The state budget is tight. But we are optimistic that we can achieve realistic objectives with our labor contracts, while continuing to provide fair working conditions, benefits and wages to our hard-working state employees."
Hudson said he is pleased to keep his hand in the issue. "I have worked with state employees for past 25 years and hope to be a constructive element in the upcoming negotiations," Hudson said. "The objective of labor negotiations is to achieve a mutual agreement. In my view, the best way to achieve a mutual agreement is through a free exchange of good information."
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