New Jersey and Pennsylvania governors announce joint task force to ‘strengthen labor law enforcement’

The Democrats said the task force would tackle wage theft and worker misclassification.

Murphy, left, and Shapiro, right, gesture as they speak.

Govs. Murphy and Shapiro have teamed up for an interstate labor task force.(AP)

New Jersey and Pennsylvania Governors Phil Murphy and Josh Shapiro announced the states would join forces to strengthen labor law enforcement in the neighboring states.

The Democrats unveiled a new interstate task force to tackle wage theft and worker misclassification.

“If you’re a bad apple contractor, we’re either going to bring you into compliance, or we’re going to put you out of business, period,” Murphy said.

Shapiro said the states would partner to bolster union protections and invest in new union apprenticeships.

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Murphy and Shapiro announced the task force at the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia.

“My budget that I proposed a couple months ago,  that the lawmakers are now considering, invests…in making sure we bring [vocational and technical education and training] back into our classrooms, invests in union apprentices, and does our best to connect the dots between the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Shapiro said.

Some trade industries, such as ironmaking and construction, face a worker shortage. Both Murphy and Shapiro have voiced support for vocational and technical education and training in the past.

The governors said they hope this partnership will become a national model and they are encouraging other neighboring states to join in the effort.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania have appointed Rob Asaro-Angelo, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Nancy Walker, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, respectively, to lead the task force.

You can watch the full announcement here.

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