SPEAKER OLIVER: TURNPIKE WORKERS AT LEAST DESERVE ‘RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL’

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) on Wednesday released the following statement after the Christie administration revised its request for proposals for private toll collection to take away the first right of refusal for current employees to take a job with a private contractor:

“First, it’s disappointing that the administration isn’t giving more attention to the significant concessions the unions have offered to save money and jobs and ensure a safe and efficient New Jersey Turnpike Authority. These hard working men and women deserve to have their plan for pay and benefit cuts considered. They’re doing the right thing.
“But to take away their ‘right of first refusal’ should toll collection be privatized is adding insult to injury to these dedicated middle-class workers who might be pushed out of their jobs. They should be allowed to keep the ability to work should they chose. That is the decent and right thing to do.
“The administration’s handling of this process gives little hope that it’s going to work out well for New Jersey taxpayers.
“The governor should be focusing attention on job creation, not on actions that will further increase the number of unemployed people in our state when giving workers the right of first refusal is clearly the right thing to do.”