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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy signs bill requiring prevailing wages for Newark airport workers

By Nikita Biryukov, April 29 2021 11:49 am

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill requiring Newark Liberty International Airport and Newark Liberty International Train Station workers be paid prevailing wages and expanding the health benefits available to them Thursday.

“This legislation provides workers at Newark Airport the dignity, respect, and treatment that they deserve. These men and women have selflessly been serving through the COVID-19 pandemic as critical infrastructure workers, and I am proud to sign this legislation that will finally provide them with the health care and compensation that they need and have fought for,” Murphy said.

The bill, sponsored by a Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and a host of other Democrats, requires eligible workers not be paid less than the minimum wage established by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey or the prevailing wage set by the state commissioner of labor.

It goes into effect on Sept. 1.

“Workers in every walk of life, seen and unseen, deserve a livable wage, and access to affordable health care,” Weinberg said. “The people who help keep our planes flying and our trains running, and the men and women who make sure our largest airport is clean, safe and functional, are essential in every respect.”

The bill is a major boon to Service Employees International Union. SEIU 32BJ represents Newark Liberty International Airport. The union is among those to have endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy for re-election.

“Passing this law is a major landmark in the long journey to justice that airport workers have traveled,” SEIU 32BJ President Kyle Bragg said. “With the signing of the law, we are one step closer towards a fair contract and the conditions all workers at Newark International deserve.”

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