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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Murphy ‘open-minded’ to Democratic Governors Association unionization

Booker campaign unionized earlier this week

By Nikita Biryukov, August 08 2019 12:48 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy said he was open to unionizing the Democratic Governors Association when he takes helm of the organization next year.

“I’m open-minded to the unionization question because I’m a big believer in unions, and I believe likewise that the diminution of unions in our society is directly correlated to the hollowing out of our middle class,” Murphy said.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Cory Booker announced his presidential campaign staff was unionizing, with International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 238 serving as their union representative.

That collective bargaining agreement is still in the works.

Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to unionize his campaigns staff, who are now members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.

Murphy has faced some criticism for forcing campaign workers on his 2017 gubernatorial campaign to sign non-disclosure agreements.  The NDAs, which are no longer enforceable in areas of sexual harassment and assault as a result of a new state law Murphy signed, became an issue amidst allegations that a top campaign official, Al Alvarez, raped Katie Brennan while she was working as a campaign volunteer.

Murphy, who is vice chair and chair-elect of the DGA, demurred on whether he would like to see Senate President Steve Sweeney’s union — the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers — represent the DGA’s staffers, saying he hadn’t yet given the issue much thought.

“I haven’t thought about it beyond that in terms of who it would be,” the governor said.

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