More than 250 participants packed the East Brunswick, N.J., Hilton ballroom for the 13th annual Women in Leadership Development conference. The atmosphere of unity and sisterhood was remarkable as both first-time and longtime WILD sisters joined together, representing every union sector, age group and job category, as well as the labor movement’s deep racial and cultural diversity.
Strong unions empower working people to fight for justice, fairness, dignity and respect. No matter the challenges that we face, your solidarity will ensure a strong and enduring labor movement for generations to come.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political education program is second to none, and the outstanding results of the Nov. 3 election keep our momentum strong heading into the 2016 presidential race. We led union brothers and sisters to victories across the state, from school board and town council races to mayor, freeholder and state assembly seats. A record 47 union members won their elections, a phenomenal win ratio of 73% for labor candidates on the ballot. No one delivers election results like our labor candidates program, which raised its total of election victories to 864!
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), a member of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 351, has achieved so much since New Jersey voters elected him to Congress last year. Today, we celebrate his being named to the House leadership team by House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.
Union volunteers who were introduced to app-based labor walk packets for the first time on Saturday in New Jersey returned from the labor walk hugely enthusiastic about the new technology. The feedback from the volunteers who offered to download and use the app was overwhelmingly positive. They said it was easy and fun to use and more efficient than the traditional paper packets because it allows more union households to be reached in a shorter period of time.
More and more young union workers are becoming involved in the political process after realizing that the opportunity to earn a decent living and live a decent life depends on who they vote into office. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has been leading the effort to encourage young workers from every sector of the labor movement to pursue a progressive agenda through the state federation’s YES (Youth Engagement in Solidarity) groups forming through our central labor councils around the state.
Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 94 in Mercer County, N.J., became a classroom recently for young workers taking part in Common Sense Economics, led by Jennifer Higgins of AFT Local 1904 and Carli Meneses, president of Machinists (IAM) Local 2339N.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions have been working hard to find solutions to the state’s pension funding problem on behalf of nearly 800,000 current and retired public employees who have been contributing faithfully to their pensions and whose retirement security depends partly on earned pension income.