Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Boilermakers Score Legislative Victory in New Jersey

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) and Boilermakers Local 28 were successful in their efforts to enact a state law that will require New Jersey high-hazard facilities, including refineries and certain chemical plants, to employ a skilled and trained workforce. The measure, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 13, will require 60% of the workforce to be graduates of approved apprenticeship programs, or equivalent, by 2024. The law also requires workers at high-hazard facilities to receive the state prevailing wage rate for their given occupation. “We have a lot of nonunion [workers] coming into the area that just aren’t trained,” said Local 28 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer James Chew. “Before, we’ve had issues of very shoddy maintenance done where people get hurt. With this bill, we’ve tried to nip it in the bud so our workers are safer, and we can put longevity into these plants so they don’t shut down for accidents.”