TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed a resolution (SJR-86/AJR-165) designating October 15th of each year as New Jersey Railroad Workers Day. The resolution recognizes the critical importance of railroad workers to the state’s transportation network and economy, both of which depend on railroad workers to function efficiently. Senators Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Andrew Zwicker, Assemblymen Daniel R. Benson and Anthony S. Verrelli, and Assemblywoman Shama A. Haider sponsored the resolution.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, railroad workers risked their personal health and safety to ensure that the state’s rail lines remained operational. In January, Governor Murphy signed the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act to establish new tools for the protection of pivotal railroad workers across the state. Now, as a result of the Murphy Administration’s considerable investments in an array of public infrastructure projects that will further expand the state’s public transportation network, railroad workers have become even more indispensable to the state’s economic vitality.
“Through extreme weather events and a global pandemic, our state’s railroad workers have demonstrated extraordinary bravery despite significant obstacles,” said Governor Murphy. “Their courage, as well as their role as the backbone of our state’s expanding transportation network, must not be overlooked. On October 15th – and every day – we honor the contributions of our workers not just as employees, but as New Jerseyans committed to promoting safety, efficiency, and economic activity in our local communities.”
“During the pandemic, railroad workers continued to ensure the efficient transportation of consumer goods and commuters. These workers put themselves and their families at risk for the benefit of the entire State,” said Senator Patrick J. Diegnan.
“This recognition is a token of our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices of all railroad workers. I am extremely proud to be a part of establishing the annual ‘New Jersey Railroad Workers Day.’”
“Railroads continue to serve a crucial, and often overlooked, role in our society. Whether in transporting consumer goods or helping commuters get to and from work, we rely on rail services and railroad workers to keep our economy afloat,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, Chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee. “By designating October 15th as New Jersey Railroad Workers Day, we carve out time to recognize the invaluable service railroad workers provide for the people of New Jersey.”
New Jersey’s vast railroad network is critical to our economic success,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Today and every day, we celebrate the hard-working men and women on the passenger and freight railroads who keep New Jersey moving.”
“New Jersey railroad workers are certainly deserving of this recognition, and we applaud the Governor and the sponsors of this resolution in the State legislature for designating an annual day for these indispensable transit professionals,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT railroad workers, like their counterparts in bus, light rail and Access Link, have earned this distinction after keeping our customers and our economy moving throughout the pandemic.”
“We thank Governor Murphy and the state Legislature for recognizing the tireless work and sacrifices not just of conductors, but of all railroad workers in New Jersey,” said Jerome Johnson, General Chairman at Smart-TD Local 60. “I only lament the fact that New Jersey Railroad Workers Day could not fall a day later on my birthday. But then again, for those of us like Governor Murphy and my fellow union colleagues who intimately understand the crucial importance of our work, every day is Railroad Workers Day in New Jersey.”