New Jersey State AFL-CIO Announces 2016 Endorsements


More than 600 delegates, representing 1,000 labor unions and one million members and their families, convened at Harrah’s Atlantic City on June 21-22, 2016, for the purpose of officer elections, candidate endorsements and outlining the priorities of the state labor movement. On Tuesday, delegates voted unanimously to reelect President Charles Wowkanech, Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan and all members of the Executive Board.

“The work of this convention is an integral part of our organization’s ongoing success and ensures that working families will continue to have a leading voice on the job and at all levels of government,” stated President Charles Wowkanech. “The bipartisan slate of candidates, unanimously approved by the delegates, all possess the leadership, expertise and values needed to uplift and empower our state’s working families during these challenging economic times.”

CLICK HERE for complete list of endorsement decisions.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliates also unanimously committed to support three state ballot questions to require dedication of existing gas tax revenue to the state Transportation Trust Fund, quarterly state pension payments, and expansion of gaming to North Jersey. “These initiatives represent a responsible course of action for our state to fulfill its pension obligations and invest in development that will grow jobs and the economy,” said President Wowkanech.

Keynote speakers included national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, IUOE International President James Callahan, OPEIU International President Richard Lanigan, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, and 5th Congressional District Candidate Josh Gottheimer. These distinguished speakers, including several other champions of labor, shared their unique perspectives on the challenges facing working families and how a prosperous and growing middle class is essential to achieving a balanced and healthy economy that works for all.


“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proving why the labor movement in this country is more important than ever before,” stated Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan. “Through a unique blend of programs, we are uniting our community allies behind our shared progressive values, empowering labor’s next generation of leaders, harnessing the power of diversity, assisting immigrants to become U.S. citizens, and turning passive voters into committed activists.”

The 23rd Annual Labor Awards Reception held on Tuesday evening, June 21st, honored outstanding leaders in government, business and labor, reinforcing the need for all New Jersey stakeholders to come together based on our shared values. This year’s honorees were U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross from IBEW 351; business leader Joseph Sanzari; and AFTNJ President Donna Chiera. A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to IUOE 68 Business Manager and New Jersey Assemblyman Thomas Giblin.

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