Over 600 delegates, representing 1,000 labor unions and the one-million union members of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, convened at Caesars Atlantic City from June 10-11, 2014, to participate in the endorsement process for one U.S. Senate seat, 12 U.S. House Districts, and a slate of 24 rank-and-file union members running for public office from the town council to federal level. Since the inception of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program, 781 election victories have been achieved to date.
“The endorsement of State Senator and IBEW 351 member Donald Norcross for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District is an historic moment for the New Jersey labor movement,” stated President Wowkanech. “By sending a union member to Congress, we can look forward to representation which reflects a first-hand understanding of the issues that matter most to us as working families and an unwavering commitment to strengthening our middle class.”
“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO was proud to endorse Cory Booker for reelection to the U.S. Senate and a slate of incumbent and first-time candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. These candidates understand the challenges facing the middle class and will all work to put the interests of New Jersey’s working families first,” stated New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “By fighting to create and bring back good jobs, promoting broad access to affordable education, and addressing rising income inequality, we will renew our nation’s promise of economic mobility and opportunity for all working families.”
“Advancing a working families’ agenda depends not only on our electoral efforts, but also on uniting the labor movement with its progressive community partners and empowering the next generation of trade unionists,” added President Wowkanech. “By partnering with over 256 progressive community organizations last year, we spearheaded a massive grassroots mobilization to increase the state minimum wage. This year, we will continue to engage our community partners and build a movement of young union workers to enact an ‘earned sick days’ law to guarantee this commonsense benefit to all workers in New Jersey.”
The conference featured several distinguished keynote speakers including national AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who is working to build a national young workers movement; State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senator Donald Norcross, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Newark Mayor-Elect Ras Baraka, and candidates Aimee Belgard, Roy Cho, and Janice Kovach.