$15 Minimum Wage, Strike Relief Released from Senate Labor Committee

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The New Jersey State AFL-CIO applauds the members of the Senate Labor Committee who today voted to advance the $15 minimum wage bill (S-15) by a vote of 3 to 0 with one abstention as well as a bill extending unemployment benefits to striking workers (S-2160) by a vote of 3 to 1. Both votes were along party lines.

We thank our affiliates and coalition partners for their supportive testimony and attendance at the hearing. Special thanks goes to Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Joseph Vitale, the prime sponsors of both bills.

New Jersey is one of the highest cost of living states in the nation. It’s time to provide real relief to working families. A $15 phased-in minimum wage is a necessary measure that gives workers a fighting chance to make ends meet. Similarly, providing unemployment benefits during a strike or labor dispute is a needed safety net for workers.

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The Verizon strike is a case and point. This company exemplifies the worst type of corporate greed and has given workers no choice but to strike, demanding workers to spend months away from their families and shipping good middle class New Jersey call center jobs to the Philippines, where workers make $1.70 an hour. This behavior is reprehensible, destructive to hard working families in New Jersey, and proof of the need for reform.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO recognizes our elected leaders who are working to represent the hard working families of our state. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with lawmakers and community allies to ensure the advancement and swift passage of these bills.

We look forward to your continued support to ensure that New Jersey’s businesses, workers, and communities prosper together.

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