‘Tax those millionaires’ - Union members rally in Trenton ahead of state budget

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Thousands of union members crowded around New Jersey's legislative annex, even spilling into the street, to show support for Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed tax on millionaires.

The demonstrators were from a large variety of unions around the state. They were heard chanting “tax those millionaires” while speeches were made.

“Millionaires, pay a little bit more of your taxes because to whom much is given, much is required,” said Shiloh Baptist Church Pastor Darrell Armstrong.

RELATED: Feud over NJ millionaires’ tax could lead to state government shutdown 
RELATED: 
Gov. Murphy pushes for tax on millionaires ahead of state budget 

The group also set out to protest Senate President Steve Sweeney's calls to cut some worker benefits, known as “Pathway to Progress.”

“This is an attack on unions. This is an attack on collective bargaining and when we are under attack, we stand up and fight back,” said Communication Worker Association District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainer.

Murphy wants to put an additional tax on people who make over $1 million. But Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have said that they will not allow the tax to go through. This could lead to a government shutdown if a state budget is not approved by midnight on June 30.

The union members said that a government shutdown would not be in the Legislature’s best interest.

“If there's a shutdown, it's not just a shutdown it's a lockout….And we will treat a lockout the way we treat a strike…and every locked out member will be assigned picket duty,” said Communication Worker Association District 1 Area Director Hetty Rosenstein.

Sweeney did not comment on the rally. The first batch of the “Pathway to Progress” bills passed Senate committees and are on their way to full votes.

Thursday’s rally was promoted on Twitter by presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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