New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s going out like he came in: fighting against labor.
Last week, Christie vetoed the Safe Transportation Jobs & Fair Employment Rules Act that would’ve increased the hourly wages of subcontracted airport, rail and ferry workers and include benefits such as health insurance. In June, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee advanced the bill that would’ve helped Newark Airport, Newark Penn Station and Hoboken Station.
32 BJ SEIU vice president and New Jersey State Director Kevin Brown said that Christie’s actions showed an administration that didn’t fight on behalf of working New Jersey citizens.
“With the stroke of his veto pen, Governor Chris Christie has chosen to leave thousands of hardworking people and their families in abject poverty,” said Brown in a statement. “Instead of supporting the STAFER Act—legislation that would have ensured privately contracted airport, rail and ferry workers received a living wage and benefits—Christie rejected it, proving once again he is out of step with the will of the legislature and the people. The STAFER Act—which was sponsored by Senators Teresa Ruiz, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto—received widespread support in the legislature.”
Brown continued. “Even as Christie’s time in office comes to an end, his mean spirited veto won’t stop our mission to help workers fight for their rights. From the steps of New Jersey Statehouse to the White House, 32BJ will continue to speak out against injustice and use our power at the ballot box to support candidates who support working people.”
In other 32BJ news, the New York chapter announced its endorsement of Francisco Moya for City Council in District 21 in Queens. Currently serving the New York State Assembly’s 39th District, Moya’s pro-immigrant and pro-labor stances, including support for the STAFER Act in New York, support for the Fight for $15 movement and the DREAM Act and standing with airport workers at LaGuardia Airport recently to push for fair treatment from their contractor PrimeFlight, were cited by the union. Union members are focused on electing progressive candidates in New York City this year to fight back against the anti-worker and anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress.
“Our members endorsed Francisco because of his history of standing up for his community in Queens, for immigrants and for all working New Yorkers during his tenure in the Assembly,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa in a statement. “We know that he will be a voice for working people on the City Council and help keep our city a safe and welcoming home for working people and immigrants. Now more than ever, we need local government to stand up for those who are vulnerable and stand against the divisive rhetoric and anti-worker policies coming out of Washington.”