Mount Laurel, NJ – July 14, 2021: In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy and his administration awarded Ørsted’s Ocean Wind, a union labor company, the right to build the first 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind generation, shutting out many qualified merit-shop contractors, like the members at Associated Builders and Contractors New Jersey Chapter (ABC-NJ), from even having the opportunity to bid on the project.
As we fast forward, the Murphy Administration announced, on Wednesday, July 7, the state has awarded Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind, both union labor companies, the right to build another 2,600 megawatts of offshore wind electric generation between Long Beach Island and Southwest Atlantic City. In his statement, we believe Governor Murphy made it clear that merit-shop contractors were not even considered for these projects. According to the Governor, “We just approved the largest combined offshore wind award in history. It will triple our total capacity and strengthen our commitment to securing good union jobs and make New Jersey a national leader in the offshore wind industry.”
ABC-NJ is disappointed that the current administration is continuing to force union labor on state level construction jobs. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), only 17.8 % of New Jersey’s private construction workforce is represented by a union. Shutting out roughly 80% of the construction workforce is not creating a “fairer New Jersey” as the Governor is fond of saying, it is really creating a better New Jersey for Special Interest Groups.
“Our organization represents over 450,000 workers throughout New Jersey who are fully capable of undertaking and completing jobs like this,” said Samantha DeAlmeida, President of ABC-NJ. “It is very disappointing that our decision makers in Trenton continue to shut out the majority of the construction workforce from publicly funded jobs, many of which are minority and female-owned businesses.”
About Associated Builders and Contractors
ABC is a national association representing 21,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 69 Chapters across the United States. Our membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors of the industry. ABC-NJ is the industry’s liaison to federal, state, and local governments, and the public at large. For more information, please visit our website at www.abcnjc.org.