Labor Day is a celebration of the work we do as well as having jobs that work to support our families and communities. Since their dawn in America, labor unions have been focused on these two overarching goals. While much progress has been made, our work will continue until every job affords workers the dignity and respect they deserve.
“Governor Christie’s veto of a phased in $15 minimum wage is sadly not surprising given his endorsement of Donald Trump, who has said that ‘wages are too high’,” stated New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “This is yet another example of the Governor putting politics before the best interests of our state.”
Congratulations to Brother Robert Lane, IUPAT 711, who was recently selected to fill an unexpired term on the Neptune Township Committee. His appointment marks the 875th victory of the labor candidates program in its 19 year history.
Workers at Pavilion Apartments in Newark voted overwhelmingly for union representation with RWDSU Local 108. The decision, which will cover 15 workers, was decided by a near unanimous vote of 11-1. These workers range from porters to superintendents with various skills to maintain and improve the residence.
On Labor Day, we recognize and honor the achievements of America’s working people. Many of us will spend the day with close family and dear friends at a barbecue, picnic or other community event. While we enjoy the fellowship of our loved ones, it also is important to reflect on the best ways working people can continue to make our voices heard in our economy and democracy.
Below are some local events you can participate in to celebrate and enjoy this important day.
20th Annual Labor Candidates School Marks Milestone with Class of 22 Union Members Seeking Public Office
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO conducted an experiment in 1997 called the Labor Candidates School that sought to train union members on the ins and outs of campaigning for public office. The results that were achieved over the next 19 years were far beyond anyone’s expectations.
CLICK HERE to see photos from the 20th Annual Labor Candidates School.
The success of the labor movement depends on union members who are skilled workers as well as informed activists. Therefore, we as labor leaders have a responsibility to provide our youngest members with the tools and knowledge needed to both perform on the job and effect meaningful policy reforms.
The “New Jersey Young Workers” Facebook page is a valuable resource that will help young workers gain insights into state and national issues impacting our labor movement with a wealth of online tools they can use to take action. This page will highlight upcoming labor-sponsored events, where members can learn about labor history, network with their peers, and mobilize to promote our shared union values.
Fees to Wall Street, Low-Performing Hedge Fund Investments Significantly Cut After Union-Led Campaign
After a year-long campaign, labor unions succeeded in achieving the largest reductions in Wall Street fees and hedge fund investments in the history of the New Jersey pension fund. The State Investment Council unanimously approved these changes on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. The decision will reduce the plan’s hedge fund allocation by more than half from the current 12.5% to 6% in FY17. The decision will also address a long-standing concern from pension beneficiaries by reducing the total alternative investment allocation from 32% to 26% of the pension fund. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and union representatives on the panel have worked aggressively, for over a year, to achieve today’s results and were proud to receive support of administration representatives after a compromise was struck.
Brother Mark McManus was elected General President of the United Association at the UA’s 39th General Convention and will assume his new role next January. On behalf of the one million members of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, we congratulate Brother McManus on his new leadership position that reflects his ongoing and distinguished career in support of our nation’s hard working men and women.
Workers Continue Fight to Advance Stalled TTF Bill
Workers filled the streets and halls of the capitol complex today as the state Senate took up crucial legislation concerning unemployment compensation for strikers, and a deadline loomed to place the pension funding question on the ballot this year.
With thousands of jobs on the line, workers also realize the necessity of funding the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The New Jersey State AFL-CIO supports the compromise funding bill, S-2411/A-12, and will continue to prevail upon legislators to take up and approve this legislation. CLICK HERE to urge your legislator to support TTF funding now.
During a noon rally in front of the Statehouse, hundreds of union members called on legislators to approve a measure that would place the pension funding question on the ballot for voters to decide. The deadline for the Senate to act is August 8th. It is therefore imperative that every union member lend his or her voice to this effort. CLICK HERE to send a message to your state Senator now and show your solidarity for our brothers and sisters.