A Year of Challenges and Triumphs for New Jersey’s Labor Movement

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As 2014 draws to a close, we pause to reflect on the year’s trials and triumphs. Though New Jersey’s labor movement faces many budgetary, legislative and political challenges, we remain committed to pursuing a progressive legislative agenda that benefits all working families.

Our solidarity and strength helped us achieve some noteworthy successes in a difficult environment. We pulled together early in the year to draft a unified plan to address pressing labor issues and extend our reach directly into our communities. Our Strategic Planning Committee deserves credit for crafting a road map to guide the State Federation, its Central Labor Councils, affiliated unions and community partners to meet the tests ahead.

Our commitment to build a foundation of strong communities made great strides with the opening of our first immigrant empowerment center in Hudson County, and first Youth Engagement in Solidarity (YES) group in Passaic County. These grassroots community-focused, community-based partnerships will help all working families. Our coordinated efforts also resulted in passage of “Buy American” legislation, record labor candidate victories, and the state’s first-ever automatic yearly adjustment to the minimum wage.

The philosophy that knowledge creates power is evident in everything we do -- the WILD conference, youth engagement, online activism, Common Sense Economics and the labor candidates’ school. This is a theme that will continue to carry us forward.

This is a tumultuous time for working families, especially the many thousands in Atlantic City and beyond who have lost their jobs or are unable to find work. It is only with our collective spirit, progressive vision and unwavering commitment that we will successfully confront the challenges. With your continued support, we will keep up the fight on behalf of all workers and their families.

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