New Jersey State AFL-CIO Endorses Barbara Buono for Governor, Pledges to Approve Ballot Question to Raise NJ’s Minimum Wage

Endorsement Decisions Made for all 120 State Legislative Seats and a Slate of 60 Rank-and-File Union Members Running for Public Office

ATLANTIC CITY – “New Jersey State AFL-CIO conference delegates voted overwhelmingly today to endorse Senator Barbara Buono for governor,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “Senator Buono has a consistent and clear record of supporting New Jersey’s working families. She is the only candidate who understands that in order to grow our economy we need to work from the bottom up – ensuring access to a quality education, family-sustaining jobs, and economic opportunities to achieve a middle class lifestyle.”

“Despite enormous sacrifice on the part of New Jersey’s middle class, property taxes are up nearly 20%, unemployment is the highest in the region, the Governor vetoed a minimum wage increase, and many public schools remain in disrepair,” stated Wowkanech. “Our endorsed candidates understand that it is not fair to ask middle class families to sacrifice for an economic recovery that leaves them behind. Instead they believe that supporting workers and communities is the key to a sustainable and true recovery.”

“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proud to join with over 223 progressive community groups as part of the Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. ‘Raise the Wage’ campaign which seeks to win voter approval of this year’s ballot referendum,” stated Wowkanech. “Raising our state’s minimum wage is of critical importance to all working families and would be a win-win for the state’s economy because it would lift wage scales, spur consumer spending, reduce reliance on government assistance, and provide a much needed boost to working families who are falling further behind each year as costs rise and wages stagnate.”

Over 600 delegates, representing 1,000 labor unions and the one-million union members of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, convened at Caesars Atlantic City on June 11-12, 2013, to participate in an endorsement process which also included all 120 State Legislative seats and a slate of 60 rank-and-file union members running for public office as part of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program which has achieved 732 election victories to date. The conference featured several distinguished speakers including national AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker, who emphasized the importance of labor/community solidarity in strengthening the voice of working families; Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Sheila Oliver who continue to spearhead efforts to raise the state minimum wage; New Jersey Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes, Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. Chair Charles Hall, Jr.; and ‘Raise the Wage’ campaign manager Paul Penna.

A complete list of endorsements can be found HERE.

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