The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has penned a letter urging the state Legislature to pass Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s (D-32) Atlantic City rescue bill.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In anÂ April 26th letter co-authored by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech sent to Prieto and state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), the group speaks against Sweeney’s proposal before stating Prieto’s bill is the way to go.
“The Senate bill backed by the governor would deprive Atlantic City’s public sector workers of the right to bargain collectively and of the right to organize without fear of retaliation,” the letter says.
” … Recently, proponents of this bill have suggested they would amend it by giving Atlantic City 130 days to complete drastic budget cuts or face the loss of these basic human rights. The AFL-CIO does not support this recommendation because time frame and fiscal benchmarks are completely unrealistic.”
As they did regarding North Jersey casinos, Sweeney and Prieto have gone back and forth over the best way to save Atlantic City – which is facing a massive $437 million debt and could go bankrupt in the next couple weeks.
Prieto, who has also come to blows with Gov. Chris Christie (R) on the subject and predictably gained the support of his fellow Hudson County colleagues, told Hudson County View earlier this month that he planned on introducing a bill that includes benchmarks and would not violate collective bargaining agreements.
“Again, we urge you both to move forward on the basis of the Assembly bill to expeditiously craft a solution to the fiscal crisis of Atlantic City,” the letter concludes.
Prieto’s insistence to move forward with his Atlantic City plan has drawn the ire of South Jersey Democrats, some of whom claim his bill won’t have the votes to pass, to the point where political heavyweight George Norcross has made it public that he wants the Assembly Speaker ousted, per The Record.
The Speaker is expected to post his Atlantic City rescue bill next week.