[New Brunswick, NJ] - The Middlesex and Somerset Counties AFL-CIO Labor Council met on Sunday at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick for their 36th Annual Awards and Scholarship Brunch where they honored Somerset County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Peg Schaffer with the Hubert H. Humphrey Friend of Labor Award. Wayne Martiak, president of the central New Jersey labor group, presented Schaffer with the award, introducing her to the crowded room as someone who “has for years stood alongside labor, fighting for working families in Somerset County."
“Unions have served as the backbone of American society for generations, providing working families with livable wages, affordable healthcare, and protections in the workplace,” Chairwoman Schaffer stated. “In Somerset County, our two Freeholders have signed on to a pledge to support project labor agreements. Anyone elected in the county knows that we support labor unions and the labor movement and if they don't sign on to that pledge, they don't run in our county. The labor movement runs deep in my blood as my father was a union member, working as a tool and die maker. He worked two jobs and was able to raise our family, putting ten children through college. The labor union was truly a friend of ours. I'm proud of my dad and I dedicate this award to him.”
In addition to Schaffer, who was also recently appointed to Vice Chair of the Democratic State Party, other honorees included Hetty Rosenstein, who was presented with the Middlesex-Somerset CLC Labor Person of the Year award and Donald Nickle, who was presented with the Thomas V. Dooley Humanitarian Award.
Over 200 people were present on Sunday to celebrate the honorees. In attendance were numerous Somerset County elected officials and dignitaries including Somerset County Vice Chair Zenon Christodoulou, State Committeemen Joel Shain and Michael Goldberg, County Clerk Steve Peter, Freeholder Shanel Robinson, Freeholder Candidate Melonie Marano, Sheriff Candidate Darrin Russo, Senator Bob Smith, Assemblymen Joe Danielsen, Joe Egan, Andrew Zwicker and Roy Freiman, Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Bernards Committeewoman Joan Harris, Bernardsville Committeeman Dr. Jeff Hammond, Bound Brook Councilman Vinnie Petti, Manville Councilman and Labor Caucus Chair Ron Skirkanish, Manville Council Candidate Roberta Walters, Franklin Councilman Carl Wright, Franklin Councilwoman Crystal Pruitt, Franklin Council Candidate Ram Anbarasan, Black Caucus Chair Tina Jalloh, Franklin Democratic Chairman Ron Jordan, Bernards Democratic Chairwoman Nancy D’Andrea, and Executive Director James Corti.