January 2, 2017 – New Jersey
Gov.-elect Phil Murphy takes office Jan. 16, giving Democrats control of the governor's office as well as both chambers of the state Legislature for the first time in eight years. Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, has been a strong advocate for union rights, with many of his platform proposals aligning with the agendas of various unions in New Jersey. POLITICO sat down with some of the most powerful union leaders in the state and asked them to discuss their hopes for the new administration.
Today: John Ballantyne, executive secretary-treasurer for the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, which is one of the largest trade unions on the East Coast and represents thousands of people working as craftsmen in the construction industry. One of the union's key priorities: improving existing labor enforcement at the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. A study from Stockton University last year found that a growing underground construction economy is costing the state millions in uncollected tax dollars every year because of off-the-books employment and misclassified workers.