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Phil Murphy visits the Dayton training center of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 in 2017. (Photo: IUOE Local 825).

Operating Engineers Local 825 endorses Murphy

Powerful union that had battled Murphy endorses him

By David Wildstein, October 21 2021 8:55 am

With 12 days until Election Day, Gov. Phil Murphy has won the prized endorsement of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, a union that has been highly critical of him over the past few years.

“The Governor has put his shoulder behind transformative infrastructure projects. Constructing the Portal Bridge along with refurbishing assets such as Newark Penn Station and the Walter Rand Transportation Center will once again make New Jersey best in class in mass transit. Constructing the New Jersey Wind Port positions our state to be the logistics hub of the emerging off shore wind industry,” said Greg Lalevee, the IUOE Local 825 business manager.  “Our members look forward to the good paying construction jobs these projects will provide.”

The 8,200-member Local 825 is one of the most politically potent unions in the state and has fiercely opposed Murphy on several key issues, most notably the governor’s opposition to the PennEast Pipeline project.  In part due to Murphy’s opposition, that deal is now dead.  (Republican Jack Ciattarelli also opposed the pipeline.)

In 2019 and again this year, the union used the clip of Murphy saying if tax rates are your issue, we’re probably not your state in TV ads supporting Republican candidates for the legislature.

But the union appears to have found common ground with Murphy on collective bargaining rights, clean energy and transportation infrastructure investments, and a bid to fight the misclassification of jobs for independent contractors that might otherwise be union jobs.

“From investing in new roads, bridges, and rail stations that will modernize our infrastructure to combating misclassification, we’re ensuring that union hands play a vital role in shaping New Jersey’s future,” Murphy said. “Our commitment to the hardworking men and women of the labor movement in New Jersey will remain just as strong as its proud history.”

Local 825 endorsed Murphy in 2017.

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