Solidarity Is Our Strength: A Look Back on 2015

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We look back on 2015 as a year of significant accomplishments in advancing our progressive agenda and shared goals, reminding us that we can achieve important victories for working people when we work together as one.

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Foremost among these achievements is our record number of victories on Election Day. With wins at every level of government, we now have 162 labor candidates serving in elected offices. The dedication of the CLC and BTC presidents, leadership in the locals and engagement of young workers contributed to our outstanding get-out-the-vote drive. This would not have been possible without labor solidarity.

We were also united in our fight for a strong economy. Together we mentored young workers in our first Statewide Young Workers Summit and facilitated Common Sense Economics training focusing on how to achieve economic justice for all. Balancing the pay scales was also the theme at WILD, the only labor women empowerment conference of its kind in the country.

Coordination with Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc., our community partners, resulted in passage of Statewide Earned Sick Leave in the Senate. We will continue to work in solidarity until every worker has this basic right. Partnering with We Are One New Jersey in Hudson and Union counties resulted in two thriving community centers helping legal immigrants become citizens.

Challenges lie ahead. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is a right-wing attack on public-sector unions that must be closely watched since the Supreme Court’s decision could have significant repercussions for all unions. We will continue to fight for fully funded pensions and to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund so that our roads and bridges can be properly maintained and good jobs can be created.

We enter the New Year prepared to meet our challenges with a renewed sense of solidarity, and are optimistic that the voice of working people will prevail. We wish everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous 2016.

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