New Labor and NJ Work Environment Council Organize March to Honor Workers Killed, Sick and Injured on the Job

New Brunswick, New Jersey: More than 300 hundred members and supporters of New Labor, the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC), and allied organizations, collectively demanding “Safe Workplaces for All,” marched in New Brunswick on April 24, 2022 to honor workers who have been killed or become sick or injured on the job. The march, with coffins, handmade signs and chants to remember fallen workers, began and ended at New Labor headquarters in downtown New Brunswick. It is one of many events taking place around the country and around the globe as part of Workers’ Memorial Day, which brings together workers, families, unions, and allies to honor those affected by unsafe working conditions and to advocate for better protections in the workplace. “At least 57 New Jersey workers lost their lives in 2021 and will never come home to their families again,” said Debra Coyle, executive director of WEC. “Many more died from COVID-19 after exposure to COVID in the workplace, but most of those fatalities are not being tracked or documented.” Fatalities from sudden workplace trauma in New Jersey in 2021 included workers who were killed from carbon monoxide poisoning, blunt force to the head and neck, heat exhaustion and [...]

By |2022-04-29T09:25:14-04:00April 29th, 2022|Events, Press Releases|Comments Off on New Labor and NJ Work Environment Council Organize March to Honor Workers Killed, Sick and Injured on the Job

Statement from Healthy Schools Now on Gov. Murphy’s Budget Announcement: $75 million for schools is a good start; Billions needed to create safe schools for 1.2 million+ NJ students

For immediate release – November 19, 2021 Contact: Heather Sorge, hsorge@njwec.org, (908) 310-7874   Statement from Healthy Schools Now on Gov. Murphy’s Budget Announcement $75 million for schools is a good start; Billions needed to create safe schools for 1.2 million+ NJ students The following statement on today’s announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy about funding for New Jersey Schools is from Heather Sorge, Healthy Schools Now organizer with the New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC). “We’re pleased to see that Governor Murphy has identified $75 million in previously appropriated funds that can be used for badly-needed renovations and improvements in New Jersey’s public school buildings. "This is just a small down payment, however, on the billions needed to create safe learning environments in both School Development Authority (SDA) districts and Regular Operating Districts (RODs). For example, the State estimates the cost to fund the next round of major projects in just the SDA districts is close to $2 billion. "For too long, students, teachers and staff in many SDA buildings have been exposed daily to mold, mildew, asbestos, lead and vermin. Lack of indoor air quality is an issue and there is a pressing need to update HVAC systems to reduce exposure [...]

By |2021-11-23T11:12:17-05:00November 23rd, 2021|Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Statement from Healthy Schools Now on Gov. Murphy’s Budget Announcement: $75 million for schools is a good start; Billions needed to create safe schools for 1.2 million+ NJ students

New Jersey Work Environment Council Statement on OSHA’s New Vaccine and Testing Standard

Press Statement For Immediate Release: November 4, 2021 Contact: Debra Coyle, 609.707.1320; dcoyle@njwec.org New Jersey Work Environment Council Statement on OSHA’s New Vaccine and Testing Standard “Paid Time off for Vaccines is Good, but OSHA Misses the Mark by Passing Costs on to Workers for Testing and Masks” The following statement about the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) released today by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is from Debra Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC). “Vaccines are safe and effective, and we’re glad to see the new OSHA ETS requires paid time off for vaccines and recovery. We are concerned however, that these proposed rules do not require employers to pay for the costs of testing for unvaccinated workers, or for the cost of masks needed in the workplace. This is not how OSHA standards typically work, because employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. We think it’s unwise and unfair to put this burden on workers, who have already paid enormous human and financial costs during this pandemic. “Vaccines are just one piece of the puzzle we need to solve the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We still need to put in place the other puzzle pieces so that New Jersey workers are protected on the job. Since the [...]

By |2021-11-18T15:18:10-05:00November 4th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on New Jersey Work Environment Council Statement on OSHA’s New Vaccine and Testing Standard

New Jersey Work Environment Council Congratulates Doug Parker, Confirmed Today as New Chief of U.S. OSHA

For immediate release –October 25, 2021 Contact: Debra Coyle 609/707-1320 or dcoyle@njwec.org The following statement is from Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC). “We’re glad to see Doug Parker, a highly qualified safety professional, confirmed today by the U.S. Senate. As assistant secretary of labor, he will head the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “Doug brings his experience as head of Cal/OSHA, the nation’s largest statewide safety agency. He also served as executive director at Worksafe, a non-profit that provides legal services and public advocacy for workers seeking to improve safety on the job. Worksafe and WEC are both affiliates of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “OSHA has taken many important steps forward this year, after failing miserably to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in our workplaces in 2020. There is a great deal more work to be done, both to address the ongoing pandemic and to reduce the hazards that cause far too many preventable illnesses, injuries, and fatalities in our workplaces. WEC and our labor and environmental partners will continue to advocate for the strongest possible protections for New Jersey workers, families and communities.” The New Jersey [...]

By |2021-10-25T18:01:30-04:00October 25th, 2021|Press Releases|Comments Off on New Jersey Work Environment Council Congratulates Doug Parker, Confirmed Today as New Chief of U.S. OSHA

Legislators Push to End Raids to NJ Transit & Clean Energy Fund

For Immediate Release from Jersey Renews : June 21st, 2021 Contact: Janna Chernetz, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, 908-208-0083, janna@tstc.org Doug O’Malley, Environment NJ, 917-449-6812, domalley@environmentnewjersey.org David Pringle, Clean Water Action, 908-967-1672, dpringle1988@gmail.com Deb Coyle, NJ Work Environment Council, 609-707-1320, dcoyle@njwec.org Legislators Push to End Raids to NJ Transit & Clean Energy Fund Trenton, NJ — As state leaders finalize the budget in the next few days, a bipartisan, bicameral group of a dozen legislators have joined Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s call to end raids to the Clean Energy Fund and NJ Transit’s capital budget (Sen. Weinberg’s public statement can be viewed here). Tapping into the General Fund for a tiny (4%) slice of the $10+ billion surplus stemming from the increased state revenue and federal fund projections would stop the $442 million raid that labor, business, transportation, planning and environmental groups have long called for (a list of these unusual suspects released last month can be found here). Governor Murphy’s campaign promise to end these raids remains unfulfilled and advocates are asking if we can’t end these raids now, when the state is now flush and the future of NJ Transit fare revenue still so troubled, when will we decide to end these raids? Sponsors include [...]

By |2021-06-21T17:12:43-04:00June 21st, 2021|Press Releases, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Legislators Push to End Raids to NJ Transit & Clean Energy Fund

Press Statement: Jersey Renews Thanks Sen. Loretta Weinberg for Supporting Full Transit Funding & An End to Clean Energy Fund Raids

Sen. Loretta Weinberg issued the below statement in support of full funding for New Jersey Transit and an end to Clean Energy Fund raids. (The full statement can also be viewed here.) The full FY22 state budget must be finalized and approved by the end of this month. Senate Majority Leader’s Weinberg’s statement reads: “NJ Transit has been a perennial budget issue thanks to the degradation of service suffered during the Christie Administration. Adequate funding is necessary to maintain service and to make much-needed capital improvements. “I am concerned, though, that the Governor’s proposed budget includes a $273 million reduction in the state’s subsidy to NJ Transit, while leaving in place longstanding transfers from the Clean Energy Fund and NJ Transit’s capital budget. Read the full press release here.

By |2021-06-03T08:07:39-04:00June 2nd, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Press Statement: Jersey Renews Thanks Sen. Loretta Weinberg for Supporting Full Transit Funding & An End to Clean Energy Fund Raids

Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Press Release For Immediate Release: March 15, 2021 Contact: Debra Coyle McFadden Cell: 609/707-1320 Email: dcoyle@njwec.org As of Today, Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings WEC applauds this new public meeting requirement and again urges the State to follow EPCRA public access requirements   By law, effective March 15, 2021, many chemical facilities are required to hold a public meeting within 90 days of any incident that results in offsite deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage. This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule covers about 12,000 facilities across the nation that use specified extremely hazardous substances in certain quantities, including many oil refineries, chemical plants, paper mills, food processing operations, and water and sewage treatment plants, ect. This provision is part of the Risk Management Program (RMP) revised rule issued by EPA in 2017.  President Trump withdrew most of the rule in 2019, but retained much of the public meeting requirement. “This is an opportunity for community members to ask facility managers about safety measures they are taking to safeguard the community after an offsite incident has occurred.” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of NJ Work Environment Council. “For example, is management looking at safer chemical substitutions? Are they considering reducing storage quantities [...]

By |2021-03-15T14:32:15-04:00March 15th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Governor Murphy Announces Members of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy

Statement from Debra Coyle McFadden on being appointed to NJ Council on the Green Economy I am honored to be selected to serve on the Green Economy Council and want to thank Governor Murphy for this opportunity. I look forward to working with the other members of the Council to ensure NJ's green economy works for workers.  As we look for opportunities to maximize clean energy jobs, we need to make sure these are family-sustaining, union jobs with strong worker protections -- and that they are accessible to marginalized workers who have traditionally been left behind. This is a once in a generation opportunity and I am ready to get to work. Read Governor Murphy's announcement here.

By |2021-02-24T16:43:11-05:00February 24th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Announces Members of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy

Murphy urged to end NJ Transit, clean energy fund diversions

In advance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan being proposed Tuesday, groups have begun publicly pressing for him to end longstanding budget practices that shortchange priorities. Among the issues on that lengthy list are NJ Transit, which uses money from its capital program to pay operating costs, and the Board of Public Utilities clean-energy funds that are perennially diverted from their intended purpose to offset costs at NJT and elsewhere in state government. A coalition of groups under the banner Jersey Renews said in a letter to Murphy that the clean energy funds collected from ratepayers on electric bills are supposed to pay for energy conservation and other green-energy initiatives. They say it’s time for a dedicated funding source to support NJ Transit instead. Read entire article here.  

By |2021-03-23T14:25:34-04:00February 23rd, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Murphy urged to end NJ Transit, clean energy fund diversions

Statement on Creation of Office of Climate Action & Green Economy

Governor Murphy Announces new Office on Climate Action & the Green Economy Statement from Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director, NJ Work Environment Council  Today, February 16, 2021, Governor Murphy signed a Executive Order 221 to create a new climate office with the goal to advance economic opportunities in an equitable manner in the new green economy. This includes the transition to clean renewable energy. The Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will also oversee a newly created Council on the Green Economy that will advise on workforce development for tomorrow’s green economy jobs. Emphasis was placed on ensuring inclusion for BIPOC and low-income communities and good jobs. Governor Murphy also announced investments of approximately $100 million from the Regional Green House Gas Initiative and Volkswagen settlement dollars, which will be invested in the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a major emphasis on electrification and prioritizing environmental justice communities. Debra Coyle McFadden made the following statement:  This is a big day for the environment and workers here in New Jersey. Since June 2020, WEC and our partners in Jersey Renews, have been advocating for a Just Green Recovery to help rebuild the economy from the devastating impacts caused by COVID-19 which led to [...]

By |2021-02-16T13:47:25-05:00February 16th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Statement on Creation of Office of Climate Action & Green Economy
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