New Law Would Help Newarkers To Union Jobs

By Katie Colaneri, WBGO News
Newark. October 16, 2012

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Newark is seeing an increase in construction projects, especially in its downtown.

Newark is seeing an increase in major construction projects and construction jobs. Now there’s a new law on the books in Newark to help residents get a piece of the pie.

All private construction projects in Newark worth more than $25 million that get tax breaks from the city will now be required to have a project labor agreement.

That means developers are obligated to hire union workers who in exchange aren’t allowed to go on strike.  

So how does that put Newark residents on the job? West Ward Councilman Ron Rice Jr. co-sponsored the new law.

“In order to get Newarkers actually working, we need to get Newarkers into the unions and so there is a process to do that.”

Local building trades have agreed to finance apprenticeship programs for Newark workers, including black and Latino men and women. There will also be pre-apprenticeship programs to get high school students on track for careers in construction.

Union officials say these programs don’t guarantee employment a hundred percent, but those who do make it into the union will get in on the Newark construction boom.


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