Service & Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey Gov. Murphy Signs Landmark Bill Improving Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Striking Workers

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs legislation

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 New Jersey State AFL-CIO was the driving force behind this critical bill and proudly stood with Gov. Phil Murphy as he signed A-4772 into law. The legislation, the strongest of its kind in the United States, awards unemployment insurance (UI) benefits immediately to workers who are on strike or locked out if the employer hires replacement workers. It also reduces the waiting period for unemployment benefits from four weeks to two weeks if replacement workers are not hired and closes several loopholes employers use to deny UI benefits. The bill’s prime sponsors were New Jersey Assembly members Anthony Verrelli, Joseph Egan and Wayne DeAngelo and state Sens. Paul Sarlo and Fred Madden. 

“Workers and their families often struggle financially when they go on strike to protest injustice in the workplace. Going on strike is a very difficult decision, but it is sometimes necessary when workers are pushed to their limits,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech (IUOE). “This law will help ease that financial hardship, and we applaud Gov. Murphy for standing with working people and enacting this legislation.”