Solidarity was evident on Tuesday with more than 300 leaders and rank-and-file members representing various unions joining together with our allies and community partners for a march and rally to fight for Atlantic City’s future and city employees’ jobs.
“When labor has no role, democracy has no future,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech told the cheering crowd. “An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
The march from Caesars Atlantic City to the rally at City Hall was led by the state federation and AFSCME District Council 71. It was held at lunchtime so that the many city employees who are anxious about their future could express their concerns, and the residents of the community could join in and have their voices heard.
The speakers urged the Legislature and the governor to get behind Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s compromise economic recovery bill, A-3614, that helps Atlantic City recover from the economic challenges brought about by consolidation of the casino industry without destroying collective bargaining or nullifying union contracts. This is a fair alternative to the governor’s takeover bill, which strips civil service and labor protections from employees, dismantles collective bargaining, and means many city workers would lose their jobs.
Preserving collective bargaining is essential! It’s the only way city employees like sanitation driver Ahmid A. Abdullah Sr., who makes $22,000 after 12 years on the job, get even modest raises.
With your continued solidarity and support, we will keep fighting for passage of A-3614. It is the responsible solution to Atlantic City’s problems and a win-win for New Jersey taxpayers, residents and workers of Atlantic City.
Thank you to all who braved the rain to be with us at today’s events!