As union sisters and brothers work on the front lines of every labor sector, battling the global pandemic in New Jersey and across America, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO is feverishly advocating on their behalf in state and federal governments. The state federation’s COVID-19 Toolbox is updated regularly with links to current resources and with reliable news items, at a time when there’s much misinformation.
We hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Practice social distancing and wash your hands often.
Good news? Ongoing challenges? Need action? Please let us know
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO knows union members are doing exceptional work in their jobs and in their communities, even as they stay six feet apart.
If you have success stories to share, please email email@example.com, and we will include them in future communications. If you need help in reporting the good news, the state AFL-CIO will assist in any way we can. Let’s celebrate our everyday heroes, who often go unsung.
Likewise, we will alert brothers and sisters about donation drives, food drives and delivery programs, and everything that will help working families outlast this crisis and get back to normal.
Those PPE are being made in New Jersey by Unionwear
Information from NJBIZ
Newark-based Unionwear, a manufacturer of union-made in USA hats, bags and binders for the promotional, fashion and uniform markets, is producing 8,000 to 10,000 face shields per day to assist during the COVID-10 pandemic and protect health care workers.
“When the opportunity arose we realized we were uniquely suited to make these because it combines the sweatband used in baseball caps with the clear vinyl we use in the binders and portfolios we manufacture so we had almost zero learning curve or tooling,” Unionwear founder and President Mitch Cahn told NJBIZ.
“We were introduced to the NY Hospital Association by our labor union. The hospital workers are all SEIU 1199 union members and our workers are also represented by SEIU. We have worked with Polymer Technologies in Clifton on our military application so we had them design the plastic visor that makes the shield removable, replaceable and cleanable.”
So far Cahn’s production is slated for hospitals but he has received inquiries from the military and other health care organizations. The sewing is designed to be done at home so workers with cars and home machines can make the bands at home and the different parts can be kitted at the hospitals, Cahn said.
For the full article, please CLICK HERE
Donate PPE to help your brothers and sisters on the front lines
The State Troopers Fraternal Association and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees – more than 15,000 union brothers and sisters serving as the “tip of the spear” in the war on COVID-19, are asking members of the public, small business owners and operators, and large corporations alike to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to save lives.
The following items are needed by our first responders and health-care professionals:
- N95 masks or, better, NIOSH-certified respirators (N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100; or P95, P99 or P 100 99)
- Nitrile or latex gloves
- Face shields
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hand sanitizers
These items may be dropped off at the following collection point weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.:
The State Troopers Fraternal Association
2634 Route 70
Manasquan, NJ 08736
If you wish to contribute but are observing social distancing practices, please call 732-528-6388 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and arrangements will be made to safely acquire your donation.
Beware of SCAMS! Federal coronavirus relief checks are being targeted
Information courtesy of U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3rd District
New Jersey residents should watch out for scams targeting people receiving COVID-19 relief payments through the CARES Act.
The IRS Criminal Investigation Unit has provided the following information about your relief payment:
- The IRS will deposit your check into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check).
- The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information, even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your check. It’s a scam.
- If you receive a call, don’t engage with scammers or thieves, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam, or you think that you can beat them. Just hang up.
- If you receive texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, delete them. Don’t click on any links in those emails or texts.
- Reports are also swirling about bogus checks. If you receive a “check” in the mail now, it’s a fraud. It will take the Treasury a few weeks to mail those out. If you receive a “check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), or a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s a fraud.
New Jersey’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force is a joint federal-state effort to investigate and prosecute unlawful and misleading activities related to COVID-19. To report any instance of price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies, charity scams, procurement fraud, scam calls, or any other related unlawful activity, please call 866-720-5721 or email email@example.com.
Child care and fee assistance for essential workers
Workers who do jobs essential to New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, regardless of their income, can get assistance from the state to help pay for child care. New Jersey’s Emergency Child Care Assistance Program (ECCAP) will help with child-care costs when a parent or guardian is an essential employee.
Check the website for to see if you qualify as essential under the program. Most union brothers and sisters in frontline positions indeed are essential, and we are proud and grateful as you serve New Jersey’s working families.
Save a life. Donate blood
This week, Gov. Phil Murphy and his administration announced that blood drives are again permitted in New Jersey. Besides permanent blood-donation centers run by the Red Cross and similar organizations throughout the state, blood can be donated at drives run by community groups that previously had to cancel because of the state’s stay-at-home order.
The Red Cross can guide you to a blood drive HERE.
Some more tax flexibility for New Jersey working people
In any other year, New Jerseyans would be less than two weeks away from the dreaded tax-filing deadline of April 15. But with the coronavirus outbreak, the deadline this year is July 15.
And that’s both federal and state.
Gov. Phil Murphy, state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced that the state income tax filing deadline and the corporation business tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15. Additionally, the state fiscal year is extended to Sept. 30
New Jersey hopes scheduling will ease load on unemployment website
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development is working hard to add speed and power to its Unemployment Claims website at https://myunemployment.nj.gov/ for the thousands of New Jersey union members hit hard by the coronavirus economic fallout.
As of this week, the state has revised the schedule of when workers can claim their weekly benefit.
Please note: If you are filing a new claim or reopening an existing claim, you can do so online anytime.
Here’s when you should certify and claim:
If the last 4 digits of your Social Security number are between:
- 0000 and 1250, access your claim application between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
- 1251 and 2500, access your claim application between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
- 2501 and 3750, access your claim application between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- 3751 and 5000, access your claim application between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- 5001 and 6250, access your claim application between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
- 6251 and 7500, access your claim application between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
- 7501 and 8750, access your claim application between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- 8751 and 9999, access your claim application between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Regardless of the time you claim your benefit, your payment will be processed overnight. If you miss your designated window, you may certify from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Census 2020 holds the key to New Jersey families’ future
The census means money. Information from the census tells the government where to send funds to fight epidemics like the coronavirus, to recover from disasters like Superstorm Sandy, and to support the everyday heroes in all sectors of the labor movement.
The census means jobs. At stake for New Jersey in 2020 and beyond is more than $45 billion in funding for our hospitals and health care, for Medicare and Medicaid, for roads and rails and bridges and water-supply projects, for schools and after-school activities and day care, for employment-training programs to prepare for a new, post-COVID economy, and for school breakfasts and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), among other things.
The census means power. It determines how many members of Congress we get and where our Congressional districts will be drawn. Amplify your voice in Washington by strengthening the House of Representatives delegation from New Jersey.
The census means accuracy. Ten years ago, New Jersey was undercounted, and we lost billions-with-a-B of dollars in aid. In these days of health and financial crisis, we know all too well that we cannot afford that.
The census is easy. It’s something everyone can do from the safety of their home: on the mail-in form, online at my2020census.gov or by phone in 12 different languages at 1-844-330-2020. It takes only about 10 minutes.
The census is a Jersey thing. We like being the first and best, so let’s get to 100% participation in Census 2020 before anybody else. Maybe by April 15?
The census is critical, now more than ever. Be counted. Your union brothers and sisters are counting on you.