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Letter: Why Are Non-Union Power Crews Being Turned Away in New Jersey?

Kirkland resident asks why only union crews are being allowed to help the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

 

Dear Editor,

New Jersey was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and millions are without power. Crews, including from the Puget Power, are on their way to help.  But non-union crews are being turned away from New Jersey... see http://www.waff.com/story/19981857/some-nonunion-ala-crews-turned-away-from-sandy-recovery

This is effectively stating that the region is a closed shop, even in emergency aftermath situations.

How would you feel about your power being out days longer because a relief crew was a professional, full-time crew that had chosen not to unionize?  Does this protect workers?  Does it protect citizens?

--Tony McNamara, Kirkland

Charles Balazs November 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM
This is a myth/lie. No one is being turned away. The Alabama crew that was allegedly turned away is actually providing relief. Please see http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/huntsville_utilities_denies_cl.html and http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/Non-union_power_crews_welcomed_in_NJ_to_help_restore_service_state_says.html and http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/non-union_utility_crews_welcom.html
bigyaz November 03, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Tony, how about doing some research and getting some FACTS before flying off the handle and writing an inflammatory letter?
Jed Sorokin-Altmann November 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM
As the others above have said, the anti-union story is untrue, or at least, more nuanced. Power crews weren't turned away. An Alabama crew, unable to get in touch with NJ and NY officials, got paperwork from an Alabama coalition of public utilities that included a union form and took that to mean they were unwelcome in NY/NJ. NY and NJ union and government officials have all said that in major disasters, they don't give a darn about union or nonunion status-they welcome and are grateful for the help. Here's a link to your original source confirming all of this. http://m.waff.com/autojuice?targetUrl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.waff.com%2fstory%2f19981857%2fdecatur-utilities-crews-home-after-issues-with-union

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