TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Donald Norcross that would amend the current compact between Delaware and New Jersey creating the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) so that employees would be subject to the “New Jersey Employer – Employee Relations Act” cleared the Senate Transportation Committee today.
“DRBA employees should have the same rights as every other public employee in New Jersey,” said Sweeney. “Unfortunately, the national trend has been to try and weaken both unions and worker’s rights. We cannot allow this to continue to happen. The ability to unionize and be able to bargain on your own behalf are fundamental rights that we should be expanding wherever possible.”
The bill, S-1129, would allow the DRBA to enjoy the same rights as all other employees covered under the Act. Among those rights include the right to form, join or assist an employee organization and the right to engage in collective bargaining. The bill would also amend the “New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act” by adding the Delaware River and Bay Authority as a public employer subject to the statute.
“Working people should have the right to collectively bargain on their behalf. It makes no sense that DRBA employees would be denied something that other public employees in our state have. It’s time to correct this problem and give DRBA workers the same opportunities as everyone else,” said Norcross (D-Camden, Gloucester).
The bill would not become operative until Delaware enacts similar legislation and approval of Congress may be required.
The legislation now heads to the Senate floor.