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The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is an alliance of labor, community, and environmental organizations working together for safe, secure jobs, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Governor Murphy Signs Two Bills To Protect First Responders

The “Thomas P. Canzanella 21st Century First Responders Protection Act”, named after the Professional Firefighter Association of New Jersey former President Thomas Canzanella who worked on the 9/11 “pile” and passed in June 2007, will modernize the workers’ compensation system in New Jersey.   The Act ensures the meeting of the critical needs of public safety workers who are New Jersey’s first line of defense in the event of catastrophic emergencies, epidemics and terrorist attacks, and assures that those workers are not denied a level of support which is commensurate to the sacrifices they and their families make for the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of this State and the Nation.  This new law reforms New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law to create a rebuttable presumption of coverage for public safety workers for certain illnesses. For firefighters, those with seven or more years of service who suffer an injury, illness or death caused by certain types of medical conditions would not be required to demonstrate causation or exposure before receiving medical benefits and financial compensation. Other first responders, including first-aid or rescue squad members, police, corrections officers, nurses, medical technicians, and other medical personnel, are also not required to demonstrate causation of [...]

By |2019-08-28T11:29:48-04:00August 26th, 2019|Highlights|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Signs Two Bills To Protect First Responders

Workers and Environmentalists Stand in Solidarity on Climate

"The labor movement has stood strong for decades under the banner of “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Our organizations have recognized that it’s time we applied this slogan to the environment. For centuries, we have been injuring the earth, using resources with abandon, and ignoring the science on carbon emissions. Federal administrators are moving in the wrong direction, rolling back environmental protections that can protect workers. This Workers Memorial Day, we stand together for both worker protections and strong climate policies because we can’t have one without the other. An injury to the planet is an injury to us all." Read the full opinion-editorial in NJ Spotlight by Lou Kimmel, executive director of New Labor, and Dan Fatton, executive director, WEC. Full Op-Ed Photos of Workers Memorial Day Jersey Renews

By |2018-05-01T10:54:32-04:00May 1st, 2018|Highlights, Opinion Pieces|Comments Off on Workers and Environmentalists Stand in Solidarity on Climate

Workers’ Memorial Day Rally & March on Earth Day

Intersectional Coalition Calls for Action on Climate & Worker Protection New Brunswick, NJ – Hundreds gathered at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple on Sunday, April 22 to celebrate Workers’ Memorial Day, an annual day of action to remember those who have died or been injured on the job, and raise awareness to prevent future illnesses, injuries, and deaths. This year, Workers’ Memorial Day and Earth Day fell on the same Sunday, creating an opportunity to talk about the connection between climate change and worker safety. The event, organized by New Labor, the New Jersey Work Environment Council, and other partners in the Jersey Renews coalition, brought together a diverse group of workers, immigrants, environmentalists, and health professionals to march and rally for climate and worker justice. "Climate change is already a public health emergency, and the impacts on workers and communities are only going to get worse. This Earth Day, unions, worker centers, faith groups and environmental organizations are standing in solidarity demanding action on climate change. We recognize that if we want to protect workers and provide safety for everyone, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dan Fatton, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council. “Members [...]

By |2018-04-23T12:49:01-04:00April 23rd, 2018|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Workers’ Memorial Day Rally & March on Earth Day

Construction of Offshore Wind Farms Could Create More Than 75,000 New Jobs: Report from CAP and WEC

Ewing, N.J. – The construction of new offshore wind farms in New Jersey and other coastal states could lead to more than 75,000 clean energy jobs, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) and The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC). Examples in the United States and Europe show that with the right policies in place, offshore wind development can translate into expansive job creation and demand for skilled workers, the report says. With more than 100 gigawatts of offshore wind resources available in federal and Great Lakes waters, elected officials and labor leaders have a chance to turn wind farms into economic wins for their working ports and harbors, communities, and workers. “Offshore wind is a vast clean energy resource that will lead to economic wins for workers,” said Shiva Polefka, associate director of ocean policy at CAP. “When coastal states get the right policy in place for offshore wind, they’re supporting working families and being leaders in the urgent fight against climate change.” In one of his first actions in office, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order that directs the state to move toward the goal of generating 3500 megawatts [...]

By |2018-04-02T09:58:49-04:00April 2nd, 2018|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Construction of Offshore Wind Farms Could Create More Than 75,000 New Jobs: Report from CAP and WEC

Offshore Wind Means Blue-Collar Jobs for Coastal States

Center for American Progress and the New Jersey Work Environment Council co-released a report highlighting the jobs potential of clean energy. According to the findings, approximately 75,000 jobs could be created by the construction of offshore wind farms.   Read Full Report Press Release Center for American Progress

By |2018-04-02T10:03:18-04:00April 2nd, 2018|WEC Reports|Comments Off on Offshore Wind Means Blue-Collar Jobs for Coastal States

2018 Workers Memorial Day

Workers' Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died on the job or suffered workplace injuries, while raising awareness to prevent future illnesses, injuries and deaths. Respect for health and safety is respect for ALL workers. From opposing gun violence in our schools to the very real impact climate change is already having on workers and communities, we need to make sure that worker health and safety rights are guaranteed to all, in all workplaces. This year, we renew our commitment to fight for safe jobs for all! ¡SOS! Save Our Safeguards! ¡Salvar Nuestras Salvaguardas! Sunday, April 22 1:00 PM Anshe Emeth 222 Livingston Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Rain OR Shine! 2017 Pictures Source: National Council for Occupational Safety and Health In the United States, more than 100,000 workers die every year from long-term occupational disease and traumatic incidents on the job. These deaths are preventable. Read the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health report, Preventable Deaths 2016. PAST Media Coverage April 25, 2016 Home News Tribune Hundreds Rally for Safe Working Conditions The rally and spirited march focused on the demand for respect, including safe work and a [...]

By |2018-03-19T17:17:40-04:00March 19th, 2018|Events, Highlights|Comments Off on 2018 Workers Memorial Day

Murphy is in Drivers Seat to Make NJ Electric-Car Friendly

New Jersey is the most densely populated state and one of the largest automobile markets in the country. Known for its population density and highways, New Jersey has a large number of commuters with lots of cars on the road, nearly all the time. New Jersey also has a robust transit network with more than 4,000 buses regularly carrying a majority of daily transit riders throughout the state, which boasts a transit ridership percentage double that of the nation. Nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey come from the transportation sector. Light-duty automobiles, like a standard family car, remain the dominant source of transportation emissions. But particulate matter from heavy-duty vehicles like diesel trucks for industrial or commercial use and buses for public transportation are a significant source of emissions, and contribute to poor air quality, negatively impacting public health. In just a few short weeks, Governor Murphy has already taken decisive actions to improve transit in the Garden State. The NJ Transit audit and the recent commitment to bring in new train cars to boost passenger capacity are both wise first steps. However, more must be done to improve transit access, reliability and efficiency, particularly for [...]

By |2018-05-01T10:44:19-04:00March 7th, 2018|Highlights, Opinion Pieces|Comments Off on Murphy is in Drivers Seat to Make NJ Electric-Car Friendly

Transit Equity Rally

Transit Equity Rally: Workers & Community Members Demand Electrification of Transportation to Preserve our Climate and Create Jobs Jersey City, NJ – Dozens of people gathered at City Hall on Tuesday, February 6 to show support for the electrification of New Jersey’s transportation system. The event, organized by Jersey Renews in partnership with the Amalgamated Transit Union, brought together a diverse assembly of speakers to address how electrified public transportation can reduce air pollution, promote healthier communities, create jobs, and address climate change. "Jersey City stands with Jersey Renews and the Amalgamated Transit Union in their mission to promote the electrification of transportation," said Mayor Fulop. "On a local level, we are actively finding ways to reduce pollution, and I am proud to announce that we are beginning the process of installing electric vehicle charging stations and transitioning our municipal fleet to electric power. Together, we will continue to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and build cleaner, healthier communities throughout New Jersey." "Gasoline powered vehicles are harmful to our environment and our health, especially in dense urban areas like Jersey City. Dangerous levels of pollution from cars, trucks, and buses on busy roads and highways make thousands of New Jerseyans sick [...]

By |2018-02-20T12:20:34-05:00February 6th, 2018|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Transit Equity Rally

Take on Wall Street? Apply for our Training!

Working people can’t seem to get ahead. As we watch the news, engage in our communities, and organize around our respective issues, it becomes more and more apparent that we are operating in a rigged economy, which works for the privileged few. Wall Street’s power and influence continues to thwart progress on our most basic needs, on issues like public health, environmental protection, workers’ rights, and civil rights. The most fundamental component of our democracy, our ability to organize and successfully advocate for our needs, has been undermined. Join us on May 31st and June 1st, at NJEA Headquarters in Trenton (180 W. State Street) to learn how our economy, and our democracy, have been strip-mined by financial institutions. This intensive training will involve materials developed by WEC and Les Leopold, author of Runaway Inequality and director of The Labor Institute. We’ve already trained 65 educators, who are working across Jersey to share this content within their organizations, spreading the word to fellow activists. Join the discussion on direct actions that we can take to address the fundamental inequalities in our system. Space is limited to 20 participants.  Apply now for the Public Need over Corporate Greed Trainer Apprenticeship Program [...]

By |2018-04-30T15:31:20-04:00January 25th, 2018|Highlights|Comments Off on Take on Wall Street? Apply for our Training!

Preventing Workplace Exposures

California is considering whether an allegedly dangerous chemical found in common paint strippers should be taken off the market. Health authorities there say dozens of people have died from exposure to methylene chloride, which can kill in minutes if inhaled. It's especially dangerous in enclosed spaces. The Environmental Protection Agency is also proposing a ban, but chemical manufacturers oppose that idea. They say the compound is safe if used correctly. Wendy Hartley's son, Kevin, was just 21 and working at a new job refinishing bathrooms for his uncle.  "He would light up the room when he walked in. He had that smile," she said. "He wouldn't have to worry about bills. He would make good money doing it." Kevin took a special training course to protect himself from chemicals used to strip paint. In April, he was refinishing a bathtub in a Nashville apartment complex when his brother called their mom at work. "He said, I'm sorry mom. I did everything that I could and I couldn't save him," Hartley said. The cause of Kevin's death? The medical examiner later determined that, despite wearing gloves and a respirator, he'd been overcome by a chemical in the paint stripper he was [...]

By |2017-12-12T12:03:02-05:00December 12th, 2017|Highlights|Comments Off on Preventing Workplace Exposures
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