Tentative Settlement Is Testament to the Power of Collective Bargaining
Our brothers and sisters at Verizon are set to return to work on Wednesday after a six-week strike over jobs and wages that was resolved with a commitment for 1,300 new U.S. call center jobs and pay raises totaling 10.9 percent over four years.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is very proud of the strength shown by the strikers and the solidarity demonstrated by our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. Every sector pitched in to show their support in ways large and small – by joining a picket line, donating to the IBEW and CWA strike funds, adopting a store, paying their phone bill by mail rather than online and bringing coffee and donuts to our brothers and sisters on the line.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO joins with our affiliates and community partners this Memorial Day in honoring the servicemen and women who gave their lives for our freedom. These American heroes will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
We also salute men and women who served, or are currently serving, our country. We are so grateful for their sacrifices and bravery.
With the strong backing of labor, the New Jersey Assembly voted Thursday to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour within five years.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO along with its affiliates and community partners have led the fight to raise the minimum wage on behalf of workers struggling to make ends meet while working a full-time job. A $15 minimum wage will help uplift all workers in this high-cost state and will stimulate the economy by giving those at the bottom of the economic ladder more money to spend on groceries and clothing.
We thank the legislators who sponsored the bill in the Assembly – Speaker Vincent Prieto and Assemblymen John Wisniewski and Gary Schaer – and the members of the Assembly who supported working families by voting for the bill.
Verizon’s greed has forced 40,000 of our CWA and IBEW brothers and sisters out on a strike that is entering its sixth week. The company’s refusal to settle a fair agreement is inexcusable and undermines the dedicated workforce that makes the company’s profits possible in the first place.
Not that long ago, it seemed unrealistic to think that labor walks could be completed 100 percent electronically. But, on Saturday, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) achieved that goal when the Mercer County Central Labor Council completed a walk without a single paper packet being distributed!
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and the community advocacy organization Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc., are at the forefront of a new campaign to ensure that every worker in our state has the opportunity to earn a survivable wage.
That’s why the state federation and our allies in the community are championing the bill S-15/A-15, which raises the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years.
The Assembly Labor Committee advanced three bills on Thursday that would help strengthen New Jersey’s working families.
The bill, A-15, gradually raises New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, giving low-wage workers a much needed raise in this high-cost state. A $15 phased-in minimum wage would give workers a fighting chance to make ends meet, and help ensure that all work is dignified.
The party line vote to advance the bills was 6-3. Democrats Joseph Egan (D-17), Shavonda Sumter (D-35), Craig Coughlin (D-19), Annette Quijano (D-20), Arthur Barclay (D-5) and Angela McKnight (D-31) voted yes. Republicans Ronald Dancer (D-12), Parker Space (D-24) and Jay Webber (D-26) voted no.
Realizing the need for updated overtime rules, the Obama Administration has raised the qualifying income threshold to $47,476 for salaried employees, making 4.2 million more workers eligible for time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours per week. Under the regulation, which will take effect on December 1, 2016, the threshold will be updated every three years.