AFL-CIO strongly objects to a New Jersey takeover proposal of Atlantic City that eliminates all collective bargaining agreements. With battle lines drawn that would affect thousands of workers and more than 100 union contracts, the national AFL-CIO has joined the fight.
“Attempts to undermine collective bargaining under the pretext of solving financial challenges are nothing new. We’ve seen it in states and cities across the country,” say AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech in a joint statement. “We know that the best way to solve problems is to collaborate with workers who are on the front lines, like firefighters, police, teachers, and city employees. Governor Christie’s current proposal—which seeks to limit collective bargaining—is unacceptable. The state Senate and the General Assembly should work together to find the right compromise that supports the principle of collective bargaining and protects the rights of working people.”
The legislation passed by New Jersey Senate and supported by Christie includes a provision eliminating collective bargaining agreements. However, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has said that he will not support a bill that allows the state to tear up collective bargaining contracts.
Does Governor Christie believe legal contracts are no longer binding? Written agreements have been honored for hundreds of years around the world. The scenario of “maybe we’ll honor a contract maybe we won’t” would set a dangerous precedent, not only in New Jersey, but across the country.