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New Jersey AFL-CIO president Charles Wowkanech

AFL-CIO endorses Murphy borrowing plan

By David Wildstein, June 02 2020 12:55 pm

The New Jersey AFL-CIO has endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy’s borrowing plan to help the state deal with the fiscal crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In addition to the massive human toll the pandemic has taken on our members, particularly essential workers on the front lines battling  the virus, attention is  now turning to the financial  toll on state and local governments,” said AFL-CIO president Charles Wowkanech and secretary-treasurer Laurel Brennan.  “At the federal level, little has been done to provide assistance directly to these local governments. For this reason, the State of New Jersey must act.”

The public support by Wowkanech and Brennan precedes any commitment of support by Senate President Steve Sweeney, a labor leader.

The borrowing plan passed the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday and has the support of Speaker Craig Coughlin and Budget Committee Chair Eliana Pintor Marin.

Murphy’s proposal has also been endorsed by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and the seven Democrats on the Passaic County Board of Freeholders.

In testimony before the committee, David Young, the International vice president and Region 1 director of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said that the plan “will ensure that the vital programs that support our state’s hardworking families continue to have the funding they need.”

“New Jersey workers need action now and passing this bill will lay the foundation for the strong recovery our families need,” Young said.

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