The labor union that represents Verizon employees has declined to endorse Gina LaPlaca for State Assembly because she crossed their picket line during a 2016 strike.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 827 did not endorse anyone in the hotly-contested 8th district race, according to a letter sent to their members obtained by the New Jersey Globe.
LaPlaca was a lobbyist for Verizon during the 44-day strike by 36,000 union members — including nearly 5,000 in New Jersey – and replaced union members as a substitute worker. She posted a photo of herself driving a Verizon truck on her Facebook page.
Sources told the Globe that the IBEW local sought a meeting with LaPlaca to discuss her role during the strike after she became a candidate, but she did not respond.
Local 827 endorsed Democratic challengers in the 21st and 25th districts, where Republican incumbents are in trouble, but deliberately stayed out of the race to flip two seats in the Burlington County-based district.
LaPlaca told the Globe on Wednesday that she felt pressured by management to serve as a replacement worker and began to look for a new job shortly after the strike ended.
It took the well-connected LaPlaca over 30 months to find a new government relations post, according to her LinkedIn page. She now works for Anheuser-Busch.