Last week, thanks to New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a package of five bills requiring manufactured products used in certain contracts to be made in America was passed in the state Senate. The primary bill requires that vendors receiving contracts, including public work contracts, with state and local governments, as well as public institutions of higher education, purchase goods manufactured in the United States.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan wrote in a letter to the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee:
These bills translate into direct job creation because orders for American-made manufactured products, are, of course, made by Americans. The more orders for goods that are placed, the more workers are required to fill them....Made in America equals Jersey jobs.
The bills passed 36–1, with only state Sen. Michael Doherty (R) voting against them.
The New Jersey Senate also passed SCR-116, which seeks to invalidate the Civil Service Commissions regulation concerning the “broad banding” of titles. Job banding opens the door to discriminatory practices based upon race, gender or sexual orientation. This proposed rule also gives management wide latitude in determining which public employees get promoted and eliminates test-based promotions and undermines veteran preference because of changes in the ranking system.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO supports SCR-116.