New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech addressed the 40th Constitutional Convention of the BCTGM International Union in Las Vegas today, delivering a presentation that highlighted the benefits of the Labor Candidates Program and the importance of running union members for office.
The success of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates Program has garnered the interests of many national and international unions. President Wowkanech has given presentations highlighting the Labor Candidates Program at a number of other union events, including the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Conference last week, and he is currently scheduled to speak at several upcoming conventions.
For more than two decades, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO has recruited, trained, mentored, and campaigned on behalf of rank-and-file union members running for political office. Having achieved 973 election victories in this timeframe – a win ratio of more than 74% – the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program not only stands alone, but has also revolutionized the role labor plays in New Jersey state and local government.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has found that the Labor Candidates Program strengthens partnerships between unions, the AFL-CIO, state federations, CLCs, and community partners; improves voter registration and turnout; builds power for unions and community partners; allows for the development of a pro-worker legislative agenda; and projects a positive image of the labor movement.
New Jersey is currently the only state in the nation with a Labor Candidates Program.