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New Jersey - Unions Fight Budget Cuts

Sending a Message - AFSCME workers were among the nearly 40,000 union members and community supporters who descended on downtown Trenton to protest budget cuts.

Sending a Message
Sending a Message - AFSCME workers were among the nearly 40,000 union members and community supporters who descended on downtown Trenton to protest budget cuts. (Photo credit: Photog Name)

Thousands of AFSCME members joined with other union members to send a strong message to lawmakers: Stop assaulting the middle class! Stop benefiting the rich!

The protest rally in front of Trenton’s State House drew nearly 40,000 union members and supporters. Their wrath was primarily directed toward Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is proposing sweeping cuts to social services, public schools, public health facilities and libraries. The governor also stirred outrage when he vetoed the “millionaire’s tax” on individuals who earn more than $400,000.

“We are urging the Legislature to restore the tax on millionaires and ease the burden on the middle class,” says Local 888 (Council 1) Pres. Mike Holland, a senior carpenter at Rutgers University. “The proposed cuts will be devastating to workers and New Jersey citizens. That’s why we stand united against the governor’s destructive policies.”

“Christie’s budget plan will undermine efforts to rebuild New Jersey’s economic viability,” says Sherryl Gordon, executive director of Council 1 and an International vice president. “We’re still struggling through a difficult economic recession. It’s not just that our members’ jobs, incomes and benefits are at stake. It is also the very future of our state that we are fighting for.”