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Senate President Sweeney Was About To Get Out In Front Of Amazon Warehouse Labor Issues

Have Sweeney’s Democratic Colleagues Moved Worker Safety Legislation He Supported?

I read NJ Spotlight’s story today about Amazon warehouse labor issues with interest.

I don’t usually get involved in labor issues, but I did in this case.

I brought a California bill [AB701] on warehouse worker safety issues to the attention of former Senate President Sweeney last September, and urged him to greatly expand his proposed legislation, based upon California legislation.

He agreed and wrote to thank me for bringing the legislation to his attention. In an October 11, 2021 email, Sweeney wrote: (emphases mine)

Dear Mr. Wolfe:

Thank you again for contacting my office to express your concerns regarding warehouse worker safety and sharing your support of Assembly Bill 4630 with the Governor.

I have reviewed the California warehouse bill, AB701, that you sent over. I think the bill will provide important protections for warehouse workers and I have asked my staff to look into how we could do a similar bill in New Jersey.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


Steve Sweeney

Senate President

Sweeney responded to my September 27, 2021 email:

Senator Sweeney – thank you for your reply and for advising me of your support of NJ A4630 – I will reach out to Gov. Murphy’s office and urge that he sign the bill into law.

However, the NJ A4630 bill applies narrowly to just the public sector.

In contrast, the California legislation, AB701, applies directly to the private sector and addresses specific workplace protections, among other things, see:


I urge you to review the pending California legislation and consider broader and more effective protections for warehouse labor.


Bill Wolfe

It would be interesting to know if Sweeney’s Democratic colleagues have pursued the California model legislation he expressed support for. And did Gov. Murphy sign the flawed bill (A4630) I initially wrote Sweeney to criticize?

[Update – just did the research. On Nov. 8, 2021,  Gov. Murphy Conditionally Vetoed the bill because he thought it would hurt “small” mom and pop businesses. He made a lame bill even lamer:

With that in mind, I am recommending revisions to increase the minimum employee threshold for retail establishments from 10 employees to 20.

It looks like the Legislature has not concurred with the Gov.’s CV and the bill its dead. ~~~ end update]

But how is it possible that a retired environmental activist – with no funds, no staff and no resources – living in the national forests in a bus can have more impact on the NJ Senate President than well funded NJ labor unions and labor activists? (including environmental and labor coalitions).

[End Note: I’ve been a longtime critic of Senator Sweeney so he had no use for me. This only further baffles me as to how I could secure his support for the California bill (and at a time his own lame bill was on the Gov.’s desk):


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