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Healthcare for All: The Struggle Never Ends

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Aloha e,

The month of May begins with International Workers Day on May 1 st ! This was the result of a long and often bloody struggle in the 19th Century for an eight hour work day!


AQ and many of her colleagues saw the labor movement as a struggle that went beyond immediate collective bargaining goals. Many issues affecting work, working conditions and a better quality of life require constant struggle. The fight for health care is one such issue.


AQ was a leader in the movement for health care for all. She was one of the leaders who helped pass Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974. In 1959 AQ and the ILWU surprised many by their support for Republican Hiram Fong’s campaign for the US Senate. As a stark reminder of how times have changed, Republican Fong was an advocate of Medicare for all!

Courtesy of ILWU 142 Archive

AQ’s friend, Claire Shimabukuro, recounts some of the issues that AQ encountered in her fight on this issue.



Today, the issue of access to health and medical care continues to be a major political issue.

Our documentary about AQ, The Struggle Never Ends, reminds us that the fight for social and economic justice continues! Each month we add new material to our website: www.laborhistoryhawaii.org from our extensive moving image archive. Please check it out and share with friends.

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Chris Conybeare

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