I want to give a special thanks to Senate President Steve Sweeney. He was the prime sponsor of the bill and stuck with us throughout the long fight. Senator Sweeney, who is a union ironworker, represents Salem County and knew that the loss of these plants would adversely hurt the community. He stuck with us through all of the roadblocks, helping to usher it through the Senate. He stood with us when the new Governor ordered a new bill that provided incentives for other types of renewables and made sure that the bill passed and was signed. Up until Governor Murphy signed the bill, he was getting calls to pressure him to not sign it, but leaders like Senator Sweeney kept the pressure on him and ensured a fair bill that will save thousands of jobs and put our state on the right path towards the Governor's Clean Energy agenda.
By now you have heard that the legislation intended to ensure continued operation of Salem I and II and Hope Creek stalled again in Trenton last Monday. The legislation, Senate Bill 877, would recognize the environmental and reliability benefits of nuclear and boost rates to allow fair competition. The bill is sponsored by our good friend, Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose district includes all of Salem County.
Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, says that without rate relief for nuclear, he will have to retire the plants. I believe him. That’s why Sweeney’s legislation is the number one priority of our local union.
Nuclear is a complicated issue, and nobody likes to see their utility rates go up. That means that this is no easy sell.
I have testified at every hearing in Trenton and already talked to more politicians than I can count, but I am not stopping until we get the legislation through the Senate and the Assembly and get Governor Murphy to sign it.
Our International is with us, and so are the State AFL-CIO and the Building Trades. They will be joining me in sending a message to the politicians about the importance of nuclear.
I may be asking you to help too – to write a letter or to come to Trenton. It’s that serious.
It’s serious enough that PSEG Nuclear and Exelon Generation have cancelled all nonessential capital projects at Salem I and II. PSEG, as the sole owner of Hope Creek, is examining its options for that plant.
But right now, the most important thing you can do is to continue to do your job producing clean, reliable nuclear power.
Your union leadership at Local 94 is doing their job to push this legislation through. Please do not let the debate in Trenton distract you from safety on the job.
We will keep you informed and up to date.
Over the weekends of March 2, IBEW 94 was proud to take part in the 15th Annual WILD Conference. The conference is for Women in Leadership Development and helps to promote women within our union movement. New Jersey is the only AFL-CIO state affiliate that holds a separate conference to help promote women. This year Dr. Gil Kirton and Dr. Geraldine Healy came all the way from the United Kingdom to speak about women's labor leadership in a post-Trump and post Brexit world. Below I have provided some more information on the conference as well as a picture of our members with Dr. Kirton and Healy. If you are interested in taking part in next years WILD Conference, please contact the union hall.
NJ AFL-CIO:15th Annual WILD Conference: Bridging the Divide for Workplace Safety
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is the only state federation in the nation to host an annual women's leadership conference. We thank our WILD sisters and sponsors for their many years of support, enabling our state to champion a diverse, strong and durable labor movement.
There is a bill in the New Jersey Legislature that would help to ensure the continued operation of Salem 1 and 2 and Hope Creek by boosting rates for nuclear-generated electricity. That bill is Senate Bill 877 and it will be considered in committee on February 5. Its fate is uncertain right now.
Thanksgiving is here again. There is no better time to think of the reasons why you are thankful over this long holiday weekend. As union members, there is a lot to be thankful for like our wages and benefits. We can also be thankful in knowing that thanks to our union and the solidarity of our friends and coworkers we will be working in a safe workplace that allows us to go home and see our families every night. As you sit with your family on Thursday, remember to give thanks for this hard earned privilege and remember that your family is why we fight.
Enjoy a union-made in America Thanksgiving this year. Click here to see a full list of items.
On Tuesday, voters across New Jersey will head to the polls to vote for a new Governor. After 8 years of Governor Chris Christie, we will finally have a new Governor. It is no secret that Christie was not very friendly to unions during his tenure, which makes your vote on Tuesday all the more important. I believe that we have the choice on Tuesday to elect a real friend to labor, Phil Murphy. He has reached out to the labor community and marched with us at the Plainfield Labor Day Parade. With Murphy in Trenton, we will have a Governor that works with us, not against us.
While it is important to elect Murphy, he will also need a labor-friendly legislature. Below I have included a list of the NJ AFL-CIO's endorsements, but I would like to call your attention to a few important races. First is Senator Sweeney in Senate District 3. Sweeney is both the Senate President and a union Ironworker. If you live in District 3 make sure you go out and vote for him. I would also like to call your attention to the 3 IBEW members who are running for re-election. They are Joseph Egan IBEW 456 at District 17, Wayne DeAngelo IBEW 269 at District 14, and Eric Houtaling IBEW 400 at District 11. If you live in their district's please make sure you vote for them.