Tag Archive: unions

Bergen County Dems Bent on Destroying Palisades Risk Losing Environmental and Women’s Votes

This is a pretty angry piece, but the LG tower is worth discussing. Thoughts? Promoted by Rosi.

TonysPic

The Palisades looking southward from the Hudson River in Alpine at the NY/NJ state line.

Thanks to ethically compromised Democrats in Englewood Cliffs who allowed a 143 ft height variance in a 35 foot zone on top of the Palisades, and State Senator Paul Sarlo, who literally rallied defending it, the private sector labor unions have been dragged into  a fight that was completely unnecessary.

For those unfamiliar with the LG Electronics/ Palisades issue here is the New York Times editorial by four former NJ Governors. For over 114 years there has been an active, bi-state, as well as national, patriotic effort to protect the vista that is the Palisades. The Palisades were formed 200 million years ago when the supercontinent of Pangea split apart and what is now the West Coast of Africa separated from what is now the East Coast of North America.  Think of the Palisades  North of the George Washington Bridge as an early baby picture of North America, a view that appears unchanged since Henry Hudson sailed up it, the British scaled it chasing Washington and Thomas Paine into retreat, and as Native Americans viewed it for millennia before that.  

“Gov. Christie has officially driven New Jersey into a ditch.” Reaction Roundup to Christie

Response from around the state to Gov. Christie’s announcement today that he intends to remedy a budget shortfall in large part of his own making, by drastically reducing two pension payments that NJ owes – see Bill Orr’s post

Christie’s Terrible Budget Solution to Meet the Shortfall
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“Someone needs to call 911. Gov. Christie has officially driven New Jersey into a ditch.

“Gov. Christie’s reckless policies have left him with no viable solution to his budget crisis. Gov. Christie’s plan will make our fiscal situation even bleaker, with more credit downgrades likely and future deficits worsened. Gov. Christie built a house of cards that is now collapsing upon New Jersey’s taxpayers.

“It’s notable that Gov. Christie is once again targeting the middle-class by delaying pension payments, while continuing to protect millionaires. It’s time for Gov. Christie to put his catchphrases aside and get a grasp on reality. He has no plan for funding needs such as transportation, education, open space and college affordability, and now he is pushing costs onto future generations while proposing more than 30 tax and fee hikes. Gov. Christie, quite simply, has concocted an economic disaster for New Jersey.”

                  – Lou Greenwald, NJ Assembly Majority Leader

“Governor Christie said he fixed the state pension. He said our economy was the New Jersey Comeback, and he’d stop relying on one-shot gimmicks.  He said record-breaking tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy would create jobs. After five years of Christie at the helm, it turns out every single thing he’s promised has failed miserably – with a record sixth credit-downgrade by Wall Street to show for all his failures. It’s time Christie realizes what everyone else knows: cutting taxes for the super-wealthy, while stealing money from pensions hasn’t worked yet. And it wont work this time. At every turn, Governor Christie has chosen the path of economic instability, due to his wrong priorities and callous actions towards New Jersey’s working families. Since Christie is clearly unwilling to be a responsible actor, we call on the state legislature to step up and be the adults in the room.”

                  – Hetty Rosenstein, CWA NJ State Director

Today is Workers Memorial Day

Pray [mourn] for the dead and fight like hell for the living.

                                            – Mother Jones

Today is Workers Memorial Day. In ciities around the country, and in workplaces, workers killed or injured on the job are remembered. On Tuesday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (3pm, public invited), people will gather to remember co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Here’s how a union friend talks about this annual event:

This memorial service has never differentiated between the union and non-union sector, and this year is unprecedented in that the unionized sector of the work force has reached the long sought after goal of zero fatalities.

Yet, that will not deter the NYC Building and Construction Trades from appearing in full force and recognizing the tragedy of these workers’ deaths, and mourning their brothers and sisters among the unorganized.

There is no event for Workers Memorial Day in New Jersey (at least that I could find). I hope that next year, there will be. We live in a state where unions have taken a deep hits – from elected people in both parties. And our governor fully allies himself with the “conservative” movement to destroy unions. Safe jobs are something unions have historically pushed forward; something to remember as we rebuild after Sandy, and try to get New Jersey back on its feet.

Below the fold, a statement on Workers Memorial Day from New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech.  

Workers’ Rights In Fulop’s Jersey City: So Far, a Mixed Bag

Newly-minted Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop is wading into workers’ rights, but seems to be of two minds.

On the bright side, he’s pushing to require any Jersey City company with over 10 employees to provide all full-time employees five sick days per year. If it secures passage, this measure would be the first of its kind in the Garden State, making Jersey City one of the most progressive cities in the country on this issue.

On the other hand, Mayor Fulop also wants new police hires – called “Special Reserve Officers” – to be prohibited from joining the police union or engaging in any collective bargaining. According to Fulop’s Public Safety Plan, these SROs would be involved with “parking complaints, traffic control, backing up other police units, walking patrols, crowd control, and processing of prisoners.” They’d be paid hourly and have none of the contractual rights of their full-time counterparts. Fulop’s plan indicates that these officers would be used “In addition to, rather than instead of” the existing police force, but it’s not clear what that means, since parking complaints, traffic control, backing up other police units, walking patrols, crowd control and processing of prisoners sound like things that must already be going on, assumedly by full-time, unionized police officers. One can only conclude that by offloading these duties onto hourly non-unionized officers, Jersey City will either shrink its full-time police force, or re-assign the officers currently performing those tasks to other duties within the department.

The irony here, of course, being that it seems doubtful the hourly SROs would qualify for Jersey City’s sick day mandate, leaving a two-tiered employment system within the Jersey City Police Department. What do you make of it all?

Labor Day – It’s All About Me

Assemblyman Jay Webber just doesn’t understand (or doesn’t acknowledge) the true meaning of Labor Day. In his Facebook message, he acknowledges his staff, forgetting the fact that organized labor is the honoree of the day. His vaunted staff gets weekends off because of organized labor. They probably get sick pay – because of organized labor. It’s odd that an elected official from a party that constantly harps about government is praising those aides whose salaries come from taxpayers. I don’t know Tom and Sue, but I’ll bet they are hard workers. Working for the public is a thankless task. But today’s the day to thank organized labor.

Shock and Awe

Here is everything I believe needs to be known about Governor Christie and why it is so essential he loses in November.

In his own words, from the speech he gave in Boston today as reported in the Star Ledger:

“We have an opportunity as a political party to drive a wedge in the union movement, and the laboratory where that’s happening right now is in my state,” he said, according to Politico.

Christie does not have the goal of helping the working class but of driving a wedge into the unions that help to protect our working class.

I am perhaps both grateful and disgusted by his honesty.

What do you think?  

Hetty Rosenstein Talks about Christie’s Attack on Civil Service

One area in which Chris Christie excels is in making unilateral decisions without considering the co-equal legislature. And for the most part, these decisions are not in accord with the wishes or best interests of most New Jerseyans, but rather cold, calculated moves to satisfy his right wing supporters and his financial benefactors.

He did this with the ARC Tunnel cancellation, with Marriage Equality, with lottery privatization, and with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative withdrawal.

Now, the Governor is doing it again. This time eviscerating the protections offered to middle class workers under the state’s civil service system. His administration is implementing some draconian measures that will increase cronyism, hurt veterans and minorities, and the only opportunity for the public to comment was at a single public hearing on a weekday.

Today, the Assembly State Government Committee heard testimony from the state’s largest union, the CWA, as well as from veterans, minorities, and other groups who oppose the changes to the protections offered by civil service.

Leading the charge was CWA’s Hetty Rosenstein. I’ll let her tell the story in her own words in this three minute video:





Senator Paul Sarlo – Pander Bear

Why was Paul Sarlo stumping in District 37 this past week when he is supposed to be running in District 36?  

In order to understand why, you need a little background on the incredibly busy Mr. Sarlo, who was one of Joe Ferriero’s favorite State Senators while Joe was in power.  Sarlo, an engineer, is not only a sitting state Senator, in a district filled with urban blight and industrial contamination (District 36). He is also the Borough Engineer for Carlstadt – another NJ contamination hotspot, AND the Chief Operating Officer at Sanzari – one of the largest construction firms in NJ.  Most disturbing, he is the Deputy Majority Leader in Trenton.  Sarlo is a guy who profits regularly off construction for a living.  By pushing for the LG construction project in Englewood Cliffs, he is actually interfering in Loretta Weinberg’s district, and advocating ruining the view of the precious Palisades – an official designated National Historic Landmark. He is hoping that the Palisades soon looks like his district of brown fields, buildings, and parking lots.  

I hope to God that the Rockefeller family donates a hefty sum to a political challenger who DOES care about the environment to run against this guy.  

Dear Christie-Endorsing Unions: You Can Still Change Your Mind

promoted by Rosi

Dear Christie-Endorsing Unions,

Since you backed the Governor he declared “unions are the problem” and vetoed a bill allowing towns — if they choose to — to require union labor on public projects and Sandy recovery efforts.  And unemployment is far more stubborn here than in our neighboring states, now at 9.2%.

There’s still time to change you mind and back a candidate who actually supports labor and the goals of unions.  

Sincerely,

V

Christie Has Terrible Jobs Record, So Unions Endorse Him

promoted by Rosi

Apparently some unions in New Jersey have developed new criteria for what they want in a governor:

Back when I was a union member we wanted to have politicians with records of job growth who would use their positions to expand the number of jobs and protect workers’ rights.

Apparently that’s not so much the case these days.