On behalf of our affiliated union, Boilermakers Local 28, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks the Assembly members who supported A-805. We also thank the sponsors, Assemblymen Verrelli, D-15th District, and Houghtaling, D-11th District, for their leadership on this issue and thank Speaker Coughlin for posting this important piece of legislation.
The bill, which has now passed both houses, seeks to raise worker safety standards, worker training requirements and worker wages over a phased-in period of years through 2024. These standards would apply only to certain types of work in high hazard or dangerous facilities such as oil refineries or chemical processing plants. The bill passed 49-22-2.
California and Washington State have already passed laws similar to this, and those laws have addressed the safety events and issues experienced in those states.
This bill seeks to gradually require contractors that operate in these facilities to have a percentage (60% when fully phased in) of their workers graduate from a federally approved apprenticeship program. The phase-in of these provisions will avoid disruption in the industry. The phase-in of the prevailing wage, set by the Department of Labor, will not reach 100% until 2024.
Again, thank you to those members of the State Assembly who voted “yes” on this bill and all of the affiliates that have worked toward passage. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO respectfully asks Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill into law.