RWDSU International
Jon Corzine

October 18, 2009

Press Release from Charles N. Hall, Jr. President of Local 108, RWDSU, UFCW  


Good morning, brothers and sisters. We are here today to take care of the business of the union. The first order of business is Jon Corzine for Governor. I am supporting Jon Corzine for Governor from the perspective of a labor leader and citizen of New Jersey. A lot has been made of the fact that New Jersey organized labor is overwhelmingly supporting Corzine.  I ask you why wouldn’t labor support Corzine, who has championed paid family leave for workers, foreclosure relief for struggling homeowners, education funding reform, expansion of healthcare programs for children and the passage of project labor agreements with guidelines for fair wages and benefits. Of course, on the other hand, labor’s relationship with the Governor has not been without disagreement. The fact of the matter is overall, “he gets it”. Corzine knows the importance of good jobs and benefits. He understands and advocates many of our issues such as the need for labor law reform as it relates to a worker’s right to organize and also the need for every American to have healthcare. As Governor, Corzine, in my view, he has found the right balance addressing the needs of working families and responsibly governing the State. Direct Action- Jon was with us at Local 108 when negotiations reached an impass at Academy Bus Company helping to avoid a strike 3 years ago. He was with us during our nine (9) month labor dispute with Strauss Auto Company. 

As a resident of New Jersey, I have to look at all of the candidates in this important election. I am very concerned about candidate Chris Christie’s views on many of the issues that affect our state. The notion that Mr. Christie would reject federal funds to help “out of work” New Jerseyans is just not sensible. Mr. Christie opposes paid family leave and cites it as an unnecessary cost of business. Paid family leave is progressive legislation that shows the values that New Jersey has for families. Healthcare- Allow insurance companies to operate mandate-free. Why should New Jersey lower its standards (mammograms)? New Jersey is known for its beaches and state parks which must be maintained by our state government. Mr. Christie says he would trim government spending and that his first target would be the State Department of Environmental Protection. The issue that has really resonated with me as a citizen is his disregard for the education and development of our children. Chris Christie referred to pre-school as babysitting for children. A study conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has shown that pre-school enhances all areas of learning and development from kindergarten entry, continued into elementary school. My assessment of Mr. Christie is that “he doesn’t get it” and his views are not in the mainstream of New Jersey 

Jon Corzine is a leader who stands up for working families. I am confident that New Jersey will be among one of the first states to come out of the recession under Corzine’s leadership. Corzine is the man who made possible paid family leave and has put education first for our children. Jon has not forgotten where he came from.  

On October 15, 2009, the Local 108 Executive Board endorsed John Corzine for Governor. I am now calling on a vote from the Executive membership to do the same.  

300 people at Loretta Weinberg rally.2 full-time staff and 8 rank and file members working for Labor to Labor campaign.

Local 108 members voted unanimously to endorse John Corzine.  
Three hundred (300) members attended the membership meeting.  

A motion to endorse John Corzine was made by Merzena Sears a member from Strauss.  Merzena stated that John Corzine has a proven record of supporting working families in NJ.  She also stated that the governor has done the right thing by enacting paid family leave into law, this shows he really cares about NJ families.
Denise Stevens a member from Lane Bryant seconded the motion.  It was Denise Stevens who stated in her motion that she liked the fact that the governor has put mandates on insurance companies to provide basic procedures such as mammogram's, maternity minimum stays, prostate check ups, cancer screenings, and childhood check ups.  She stated that she believes Christie is wrong on his plan to allow insurance companies to operate in NJ without  the mandates set up by the Corzine administration.  Denise also stated that the likes the fact that John Corzine has made education a priority in the state.

The motion was seconded by Irna Scheibner a member from Littman Jewelers and she stated that Corzine has gotten federal stimulus money from the federal government during this difficult economy and has used it to extend unemployment benefits, maintained jobs, and invested in info structure projects and she feels it is a wise move.  NJ needs all the help we can get during this recession, Chris Christie has it all wrong.

Shirley Short-Hall a member from the Englewood Police Department (White Collar) also seconded the motion.  She states that Corzine's direction on health care & education are right.  Mr. Corzine is truly a friend of labor.

Ray Zeneski a retiree from Felsway/Show Town also seconded the motion.  He states that Corzine is the best man to lead us out of this recession.

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RWDSU Local 108, UFCW/CTC CLC | 1576 Springfield Avenue Maplewood, NJ 07040 | Phone: 973-762-7224