From the Executive Director's Desk

Dear Friends,

It's bittersweet to write this note, as this will be the final edition of WEConnect you'll receive with my note as executive director. I'm happy that we have not missed a monthly edition since we launched this electronic newsletter in October 2015, shortly after I joined WEC. Beginning next week, Debra Coyle McFadden will serve as Acting Director and I know the organization will be in good hands as I leave to begin a new role with the Energy Foundation.

As I reflect on the last two plus years, I want to thank you for your support of WEC. Without the support of members and donors, our work would not be possible.  I'm also grateful for the support of WEC's major funders, especially the Fund for New Jersey, Environmental Endowment of NJ, NJEA, HPAE, USW, Energy Foundation and the New Ventures Fund. I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done and the groundwork we've laid for even more progress in the coming months. 

I want to thank the WEC Board for believing in me as executive director. It's been an honor to be entrusted to lead this organization, and to fill the very large shoes of Rick Engler, WEC's founder. Of course I need to thank our staff as well. As I've mentioned to many people, one of the best things I have done as executive director was hire three dynamic organizers to lead our campaigns.

As I prepare to transition out of this role, I also want to thank the many partners who have helped us launch two new successful programs. Our Public Need Over Corporate Greed program has now reached more than 1,000 activists in New Jersey, and we're gearing up for another train-the-trainer session later this month. Thanks again to Les Leopold and The Labor Institute for helping us create a curriculum that addresses runaway inequality in a thoughtful, systemic way. 

Thanks as well to the partners that co-authored opinion-editorials with me, particularly John Shinn, Marie Blistan, Ray Greaves, Dominick Marino, Lou DiPaolo, Ken Hoffner, Lou Kimmel and Analilia Mejia. 

And of course, Jersey Renews, which now boasts more than 60 organizational partners. I'm looking forward to continuing to partner on climate and energy issues in our state and ensuring that whatever policies we enact in New Jersey are good for workers and communities. As I've said many times lately, climate change is a public health emergency and the cost of inaction will be very high

Thank you again to all those who have already joined us or otherwise offered support. 
In Solidarity,

P.S. If you know anyone interested in the WEC executive director role, please share this job announcement!
Thank you to the 300+ folks that joined us for our 
Workers' Memorial Day rally and march in New Brunswick;
please click here for a recap of the event.
Public Need Over Corporate Greed

Join us on May 31 and June 1 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.

Join the 65 activists we've already trained who are working across Jersey to share this content within their organizations, spreading the word to fellow activists, and ultimately building a movement. Deadline to apply is May 14. Space is limited to 20 participants; only three spots left. Apply today!

National COSH Releases
2018 Dirty Dozen Report

As part of their Workers' Memorial Day action, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) announced The Dirty Dozen employers of 2018. The report highlights companies that put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices. 

“It’s heartbreaking to see workers lose their lives when we know these tragedies could have been prevented,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of National COSH. “Time and again, employers are warned about unsafe conditions. When companies fail to correct safety hazards, it is workers who pay the ultimate price.”

Dirty Dozen employers for 2018 include Amazon, Lowe's Home Improvement and Tesla. Read the full report here

Earned Sick Day Act
Signed Into Law

On May 2, the NJ Time to Care Coalition joined Governo​r Phil ​Murphy as he signed the Earned Sick Days Act. The act will go into effect on October 30 and enables workers to take time off and receive pay for at least 5 days a year, earning 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Nearly all workers, including part-time workers, can use this time to tend to their own illness, care for a broad range of family members, seek preventative medical care, address issues related to domestic violence or sexual assault, and attend children’s school meetings.

"Until today more than one million New Jerseyans had to worry about losing a day’s pay or even their job when struck by illness,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, associate director of New Jersey Citizen Action, “This law is a humane and long overdue change in New Jersey workplace policy and we are so grateful for the leadership of Governor Murphy and the legislators who championed this pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-public health policy."

Governor Signs EO to End Misclassification​ of Workers
On May 3, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on Employee Misclassification. Employee misclassification can allow employers to escape their legal responsibilities to their workers, such as ensuring adequate workplace protections and providing employment-related benefits like unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. Employers often misclassify their employees intentionally in order to reduce labor costs and avoid paying state and federal taxes.

“Tens of thousands of truck drivers hauling cargo on and off the docks at our nation’s seaports – including at the Ports of New York/New Jersey – are illegally classified as independent contractors, robbing our public institutions of much-needed tax revenue and depriving drivers of their employee rights, of their dignity, and of fair pay for the important work they perform. We applaud Governor Murphy for stepping forward to demand an end to these sweatshops on wheels and look forward to providing whatever assistance we can in the Governor’s effort to accelerate the New Jersey economy,” said Fred Potter, a Vice President with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Director of the Teamsters Port Division.

Preventing Chemical Exposures: 
FREE Training Program

Please join WEC on Tuesday, May 15 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm to learn about Preventing Chemical Exposures. The training is FREE and you will learn about assessing chemical hazards and understanding safety data sheets, identifying safety system failures, and OSHA's HazCom standard. 

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required

Become a Member
Donate Now
Take Action
Poor People's Campaign
Monday, May 14

Preventing Exposure
To Workplace Chemicals

Tuesday, May 15

Public Need Over
Corporate Greed
Train the Trainer

Friday, May 31 &
Saturday, June 1

Camden Environmental Summit
Wednesday, June 6

Progress 2018
Thursday, June 14
Individuals and organizations can join WEC & you may 
pay for your membership online.

New year, new membership. 
Please consider joining in 2018!
Economic development and environmental protection can happen hand in hand
Dan Fatton speaks with NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance
Newsletter May 9, 2018
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