The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions are proud to endorse Gov. Philip D. Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin, and candidates for state and local offices throughout New Jersey in the Nov. 2 general election.
“These leaders proved themselves during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said. “They acted quickly with legislation to protect first responders, health-care professionals and essential workers who came in contact with the public daily. They revised unemployment compensation and other benefits to aid workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Cash grants and loans helped businesses survive and keep their workers employed.
“Through their leadership, workers comp now presumes that an essential worker infected by COVID was infected on the job,” he continued. “And our lawmakers added cost-of-living adjustments to the death benefit of essential workers’ survivors because, sadly, we have lost many of our brothers and sisters from the virus in this unique time.”
President Wowkanech praised the governor and the Legislature’s leaders for their transparency since the start of the pandemic. “The governor’s video briefings continue to be must-see TV with heart as he pays tribute to COVID victims.”
New Jersey’s government needs stability and continuity, President Wowkanech said. “We’re headed in the right direction,” he said. “We need to build on the progressive laws these leaders enacted in the last 15 months to restore our economy and put everyone back to work. They will help us put this unprecedented crisis behind us once and for all.
“They have earned our endorsement.”
“So much of our shared progress over the last three-plus years is rooted in our commitment to honoring and supporting organized labor,” said Governor Murphy. “Through our partnership with the AFL-CIO, we have returned New Jersey to its rightful place as a proud union state, where working families are treated with the respect, dignity, and fairness they deserve. I am incredibly grateful to the members of the AFL-CIO for their endorsement and continued support of our vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey.”
The labor movement’s endorsements were affirmed in a roll-call vote by delegates to the 2021 New Jersey State AFL-CIO Legislative / COPE Conference, held by videoconference on Tuesday, June 15. The candidates were endorsed based on their pro-labor records and their support for working families.