Leaders of some of New Jersey's most politically powerful brick-and-mortar unions refused to endorse the organized labor's wall-of-solidarity rally Friday in Trenton.It's about time public workers realized we can't spend any more public money to support jobs; we need that public money to support jobs. Or something - it's confusing...
Ray Pocino, president of the New Jersey Laborer's Union chose not to encourage his 25,000 members to participate in the rally, fearing that it would turn into an anti-Chris Christie protest rather than a show of support for besieged public workers in Wisconsin. (It was both.)
"We want to keep that dialogue going with Governor Christie, and we didn't want to be viewed as part of a governor bashing" event, Pocino said.
So, "rather than risk breaking down that dialogue with the governor, which has been good," Pocino said, the union chose to sit out the protest.
In other words, Pocino doesn't want to alienate Christie, who rewards loyalty but banishes those who cross him.
Christie has pledged support, and taxpayer financing, for the stalled $2 billion Revel Casino project and the Xanadu entertainment and retail project in the Meadowlands, which is expected to provide thousands of construction jobs.
With unemployment among laborers far exceeding the state average, Pocino would rather see his members cheer Christie at his press events — like one in Atlantic City earlier this month announcing the restarting of the Revel project — than slam him at the State House.
Keeping wages decent in the public sector puts upward pressure on wages in the private sector. Ray, your brothers and sisters in the public sector do much more for your members than Christie ever will. You'll find that out soon enough when he rescinds prevailing wage requirements on state contracts.