Legislative Affairs

From the State House to City Hall, the Legislative Affairs Department provides an important voice to New Jersey's working families at every level of government across the state. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has successfully lobbied elected officials in support of many bills that have been signed into law that protect the rights of working families, including Paid Family Leave, prevailing wage protections, and project labor agreements.

For more information about the Legislative Affairs Department or to speak with us regarding a legislative matter, please contact Eric Richard.

Click here for to see the position of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO on past and pending legislation and regulations.

Women in Leadership Development (WILD)

Each year the New Jersey State AFL-CIO sponsors the Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference to address the broad questions of how unions help women, and how women help unions.

The WILD Conference is designed to ensure that union women have every opportunity to be educated, develop leadership skills, and build diversity within the labor movement. Attendees at the annual WILD Conference meet and talk with national and state union leaders, organizers, educators, and authors, who share the challenges they face and their strategies for advocating for and organizing workers.

The WILD Conference is always held in March to coincide with Women’s History Month, and begins on a Friday night with guest speakers and a dinner reception for networking. Workshops, panel discussions, and a keynote speaker continue on Saturday.

For more information on wild, please contact Laurel Brennan.

Committee on Political Education (COPE)

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political and elections program is operated through the Committee on Political Education (COPE). COPE operates the annual conference in which affiliated unions vote to endorse candidates for elected office based on voting records and working family issues. COPE also oversees election volunteer activities, including labor-to-labor walk programs and GOTV, as well as digital ad campaigns. Working in partnership with the AFL-CIO Political Department, New Jersey’s Central Labor Councils, Building Trades Councils, and affiliated local unions, COPE makes every effort to educate union-member voters and their families.

COPE also manages the Labor Candidates Program, which recruits, trains, and assists union members in running for public office. Since its inception in 1997, the Labor Candidates Program has successfully elected 1,031 union members to offices at nearly every level of state, county, and local government, including state Senate and Assembly, County Freeholder, Mayor, Alderman, Committee and Council member, Fire Commissioner, and School Board.

For more information on COPE, please contact John Shea III.

Young Workers Program

Created in 2014, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Young Workers Program, also known as New Jersey Youth Engagement in Solidarity (YES), actively engages union members ages 35 and younger in comprehensive leadership and educational programs to create the future leaders of New Jersey’s labor movement. Delegates from the Young Workers Program will meet at least two times a year to ensure that our future leaders from across all unions get to know and trust each other, and commit to each other support for the betterment of the union movement statewide.

For more information on the young workers program please e-mail

Workplace Safety & Health

The Workplace Safety & Health program is dedicated to making workplaces and communities safer and more secure by improving occupational safety and health training services. The program works by accurately tailoring training programs to the needs of workers and employers, generating new and innovative training methods, and identifying best practices for disseminating information to workers. The program’s focus on innovative training and education increases workers' security awareness and creates an active "culture of safety" in the workplace.

For more information on the Workplace Safety & Health program, please contact John Kratzer.

Union Veterans Council

Like a military unit, the Union Veterans Council has a mission, a mission to speak out on issues that affect working-class veterans, especially the need for good, well-paying jobs and a VA that has the staff and the money to care for all who put their lives on the line for America. A mission to organize workers in a way that veterans understand best.

For more information about the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council, or to register, please contact Don Dileo at