Phil Murphy kicks off re-election campaign with key union endorsements

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NEWARK — Building on momentum from his primary victory, Governor Phil Murphy has earned endorsements from six labor unions, representing thousands of frontline heroes, including health care workers, food service workers, construction workers, and first responders who kept New Jersey moving forward throughout the pandemic. Labor leaders praised Governor Murphy for providing necessary protections to workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency, investing in good-paying union jobs, and restoring respect to the collective bargaining process, among other accomplishments in his first-term.

Here’s what they said:

Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA)

“From his commitment to transportation infrastructure investment, to his strong support of apprenticeship programs, to designating construction workers essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy has been a stalwart ally of organized labor and Laborers in particular,” said Raymond M. Pocino, LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional manager. “For these reasons and more, we are proud to endorse Governor Murphy in his reelection bid.”


Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization (JNESO)

“We’ve seen criticism regarding where the Governor was born and how he eats a slice of pizza and I’ll just say this – our members went to work every single day wondering whether they would fall ill with COVID, or bring it home to their families,” said Doug Placa, Executive Director for JNESO. “During that time, Governor Murphy stood shoulder to shoulder with us, and helped our members navigate one of the most difficult times in their professional and personal lives. If the Governor’s critics want to talk about pizza that’s fine, but we will unequivocally endorse his proven leadership because it quite literally saved lives.”

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New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA)

“Our union has tried to work with every governor that has served during our 125 year history,” said Eddie Donnelly, President of the more than 5,000 member organization representing career firefighters, EMTs, and dispatchers. “None have, through both words and actions, shown their willingness to put politics aside to protect the safety of our members and the communities we serve more than Governor Murphy.”

New Jersey State AFL-CIO

“These leaders proved themselves during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “They acted quickly with legislation to protect first responders, health-care professionals and essential workers who came in contact with the public daily. They revised unemployment compensation and other benefits to aid workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Cash grants and loans helped businesses survive and keep their workers employed. New Jersey’s government needs stability and continuity. We’re headed in the right direction. We need to build on the progressive laws these leaders enacted in the last 15 months to restore our economy and put everyone back to work. They will help us put this unprecedented crisis behind us once and for all.”

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Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE)

“From the early days of the COVID pandemic Gov. Murphy listened and responded to the science,” said HPAE President Debbie White. “He rapidly worked to develop a distribution plan for the PPE that would protect our frontline workers and made sure we were the first group to be vaccinated because he knew that healthcare workers were most exposed and at risk of contracting COVID. Governor Murphy’s first four years leading our state were filled with healthcare challenges, placing public health and safety above all else. He has consistently brought labor to the table in times of crisis to work collaboratively.”

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United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)

“Governor Murphy has always been a strong champion for New Jersey working families,” said UFCW District Council of New York and New Jersey President Max Bruny. “As the union for New Jersey essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic in grocery stores, food processing plants, healthcare facilities, and other hard-hit businesses, UFCW has seen firsthand how Governor Murphy has stood up for these brave men and women serving our communities during the crisis. Whether it was raising the minimum wage to put more money in hardworking families’ pockets or strengthening vital COVID-19 workplace safety measures to protect workers on the job, Governor Murphy has stood side by side with New Jersey essential workers when they needed it most. It’s clear that Governor Murphy will always step up for New Jersey working families and UFCW is proud to endorse him for re-election.”