CWA New Jersey state workers on Tuesday overwhelmingly ratified their contract.
Following a year-long fight with the most anti-union governor in the history of their agreement, workers successfully preserved the integrity and enforceability of decades of collective bargaining.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration had sought more than 90 concessions from union workers, eliminating significant chunks of their contract. But last month CWA members negotiated a four-year agreement that maintains contract language protections, reduces clothing maintenance allowances and recognizes a new law governing health care, among other provisions.
A year ago, thousands of union workers marched on Trenton after Christie pushed through legislation to remove health care benefits from the bargaining table.
In an interview in the Philadelphia Inquirer, CWA New Jersey director Hetty Rosenstein linked the attacks on workers' rights in Wisconsin and New Jersey: "I think that the politics that drive Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are the same politics that are in operation in New Jersey...but we were able to engage in collective bargaining. It was a very tough contract, but we did it. Walker is seeking to destroy collective bargaining."