ELIZABETH, NJ - A labor day march in Elizabeth organized by Protect NJ Workers Coalition called on Governor Murphy to sign an executive order that would protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s workforce regarding COVID-19.
“We have a very labor-friendly Governor who has the legal authority and precedent in Massachusetts, Washington, Virginia, Oregon and Illinois,” said Adil Ahmed of Make the Road New Jersey. “There are no COVID specific protection measures in New Jersey that have to be followed, and there is no enforcement for the measures we do have.”
The coalition of groups that put the march together included the Hudson County Central Labor Council, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Laundry Workers Center, Make the Road New Jersey, New Labor, New Jersey Citizen Action and Wind of the Spirit.
The march began at First Presbyterian Church on Broad Street. The marchers then passed the Union County Courthouse turning onto Elizabeth Avenue and eventually ended up in front of City Hall.
“Governor Murphy needs to enforce a standard of protection for all workers,” said Jose L. Torralba from Wind of the Spirit. “Especially day laborers and domestic workers, the most vulnerable.”
The march was for all workers' rights; however, the need for protection of domestic workers was highlighted by many activists because domestic workers are not protected by OSHA.
In front of Elizabeth City Hall, Evelyn, a woman from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, shared her story of getting COVID-19 after working in a home without any protections provided to her.
Olga Morales, an organizer for New Labor, told TAPinto Elizabeth through a translator that they are pressuring the Governor to support the rights of workers.
“Workers need the right to deny dangerous work without fear of retaliation,” said Morales.
The groups vowed to keep on marching until Governor Murphy signs an executive order.