The New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Strategic Planning Committee was joined this morning by national AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, who addressed the meeting prior to the endorsement and signing of the state federation’s 18-month Strategic Plan.
“Today, we are committing ourselves as never before to creating a unified movement that will benefit not only union members statewide, but build lasting grassroots, community-focused partnerships, programming and initiatives that will help all working families throughout New Jersey,” said Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “I am honored that our national executive vice-president, Tefere Gebre, was able to join us for this historic event.”
Gebre spoke about the need for solidarity as the union movement takes on a multitude of challenges, both in New Jersey and across the country. He also engaged committee members in a direct dialogue regarding the state of the labor movement and how unions can fight back and help communities together.
The Strategic Plan began taking shape more than four months ago. The plan – which will be submitted to national AFL-CIO and affiliate leaders in Washington, DC, and nationwide – was crafted through hours of work, five plenary meetings, and subcommittee meetings. The final proposal is based on setting benchmarks and accountability to ensure goals are met in the areas of political action and legislative advocacy, organizing, community outreach, and the creation of a Young Workers Program for union members aged 35 and under.
The proposal will guide the work of the state federation, Central Labor Councils, roughly 1,000 affiliated unions, AFL-CIO constituency groups, more than 250 community partners, and 1.1 million union members to strengthen the labor movement across New Jersey.
“Every suggestion and recommendation that has been voiced throughout this process has been included, in some fashion, within our Strategic Plan,” said Wowkanech. “The enthusiasm and ideas that Committee members brought forth only proved how strong we are already, and that by working together we can be even stronger.”