One of the state’s most powerful unions, the 20,000-member New Jersey affiliate of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, endorsed today Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s candidacy for election to the United States Senate. LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager Raymond M. Pocino called the endorsement, “one of the easiest calls my union has ever had to make.”
“If the choice is between a driven and experienced big city mayor and a far rightwing, uncompromising partisan who has publically stated his disdain for unions as well as policies that assist the working class, well, then there isn’t really a choice at all. We are for Cory Booker all the way” Pocino said.
LIUNA has developed a long working relationship with Cory Booker. Working with Mayor Booker, the union founded a new local union, Newark-based Local 55, which specializes in residential construction and green energy retrofitting. Together, the mayor and union advocated for greater investment and development in New Jersey cities. And LIUNA was signatory to a historic ordinance that opened up union building trade apprenticeship programs to Newark residents while mandating the use of local union labor on certain types of construction projects.
“At a time when Congress is paralyzed by a culture of hyper-partisanship, why would New Jersey ever send to Washington a Koch brother-supported candidate who will only exasperate the problem?” Pocino asked. “Cory Booker has a distinguished record as a problem solver and opportunity creator. That is far better for our state and our country than a person like Steve Lonegan who feels real progress can only be found in repealing environmental, worker safety, and wage and hour laws.”
With election being held at an unusual time--Wednesday October 16th--LIUNA views member outreach and getting out the vote as critical. Pocino summed it up: “Our goal is to help Cory Booker win by the widest possible margin and send a message to anti-worker candidates like Steve Lonegan: ‘your politics won’t sell in New Jersey.’”
The New Jersey Laborers Union is affiliated with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and represents more than 20,000 members statewide in various industries, including construction, clean energy, environmental remediation, sanitation and recycling, security, and education. The New Jersey Laborers are widely viewed as having been instrumental in helping to lift living standards and workplace safety for the industries it represents, and for developing innovative cooperative relationships with employers.