Supporting – Not Demonizing – Working People

“The union door is a primary door through which so many of us – and our parents and brothers and sisters – walked into the middle class. We will build a stronger, more inclusive New Jersey economy because of our support for organized labor, not the other way around.”

Phil Murphy is a strong advocate for organized labor and is proud to have been endorsed by leading labor organizations across our state. He has stood with striking workers in picket lines across our state and has appeared before the Port Authority to protest their unwillingness to provide fair wages to workers at Newark Airport. As governor, Phil will stand up for our brothers and sisters in organized labor and work to create new pathways into good, union jobs that foster a middle-class life.

Phil will restore respect to our public sector employees.

Governor Christie has demonized public sector workers at every opportunity in order to further his own right-wing political agenda. Phil believes that our public sector employees should be celebrated, not demonized. Phil will end Governor Christie’s name-calling and once again treat our public sector employees with the respect they deserve.

Phil will honor the state’s pension promises and put our pension system back on track.

New Jersey has the worst-funded pension system in the country, which is a result of this governor and other Trenton insiders choosing to provide for the well-connected, rather than fulfill their obligations. Twelve years ago, Phil Murphy chaired the first commission to evaluate the state’s pension system in light of a growing unfunded liability. The commission recommended, first and foremost, that the state must meet its obligations, respect the collective bargaining process and remain committed to a defined benefit pension system. These are the first principles Phil will bring to the issue as governor.

Trenton insiders ignored these recommendations and today, the problem has only grown worse. Phil is committed to getting our pension funds back on track to solvency — starting with the state living up to its commitments. As Phil said in 2005, when Governor Codey appointed him to chair an effort to address our pension problems, “a constitutional amendment guaranteeing state pension contributions should be part of the solution – but the solution must be comprehensive and ensure a reasonable payment schedule.”

Phil has also led the effort to boost the pension funds’ returns by calling on the state to divest from private equity and hedge funds. These investments cost us hundreds of millions annually in fees while delivering only middling results. Phil will stop this practice, and ensure that pension fund dollars are put to work for the people who earned them, not for Wall Street.

Phil will stand up for workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

Phil is a strong supporter of unions and their right to collectively bargain. In 2005, Phil made clear that any changes to benefits must be made through the collective bargaining process. As the U.S. Ambassador to Germany under President Obama, Phil also worked in an advanced economy where organized labor is celebrated and maintains strong relationships with management. As governor, Phil will defend the right to collectively bargain, including by standing up to Donald Trump and the Republican agenda that seeks to enact national right to work legislation.

Specifically, Phil will:

  • Ensure that all workers receive a living wage by enacting a minimum wage of $15 an hour;
  • Oppose any effort to turn New Jersey into a right-to-work state, including national right-to-work legislation promoted by President Trump and the Republicans in Congress;
  • Enact paid sick leave for all workers statewide;
  • Strengthen our prevailing wage law so that more workers on public works projects receive fair wages; and
  • Support efforts to ensure that striking workers are eligible for unemployment benefits after 30 days.