Alabama Utility Crews turned away from Sandy Recovery in New Jersey Because they are Non-Union


UNREAL … residents of NJ are not supposed to get power back for 10 days or more and New Jersey is turning away utility crews that have come to help because they are not union.

You would think that after the death, damage and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey that it would be all hands on deck to help those affected. Not a chance … if you are not Union, you need not apply.

Alabama utility crews were turned away in New Jersey from helping the millions of individuals in the Garden State without power. Why? Because the utility crew was non-union. Way to go Gov. Christie. Instead of mugging for photo-ops with Obama, one would think that you would make sure your state received all the help it could, union affiliation be damned.

WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

The hurricane-ravaged east coast has been receiving north Alabama help, but crews from Huntsville Utilities learned they’ll be doing work in Long Island, New York instead of in New Jersey.

Crews from Huntsville, as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees.

As a result of the “thanks, but no thanks” from NJ, crews from Decatur and Huntsville left the Jersey shore and headed to Long Island to pitch in. Maybe they might be more appreciative of any help that others are willing to give. In other cases, crews that came to help who have been turned down are headed back to where they came from.

WAFF’s Mark Thornton reported that Moore and his coworkers “are frustrated being told, in essence, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’”

Another nonunion Decatur Utilities crew is idling in Roanoke, Va., waiting for instructions from Seaside Heights. The town asked them days ago for help, but later told the workers to stand down.

A rejected crew from the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Co-op in Trinity, Ala. has already turned around and headed back to Dixie.

Oh those unions are just so helpful. They care more about themselves that they do the victims of a disaster the likes that many have never seen. Those of you in the dark in NJ might want to remember this.

You mean to tell me that protecting union jobs are more important that the lives of the folks who are begging for help in NJ? People have no power and no heat and help is being turned away. UNREAL!

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  • Comments

    22 Responses to “Alabama Utility Crews turned away from Sandy Recovery in New Jersey Because they are Non-Union”

    1. Carpe on November 2nd, 2012 7:32 am

      This story – plus, NY hotels booting storm refugees for marathon runners…

      It really makes you wonder about the state of humanity in general.

      “Some men, you just can’t reach.” -Strother Martin

      Some dudes have such a bad case of asho-itis… it just needs to burn itself out. ef it. Let it burn – look at all the pretty colors!

    2. hollie on November 2nd, 2012 7:45 am

      ya think maybe they were told they weren;t needed in this area and NY or some other locaiton needed them????DUHHH and unions dont coordinate or run disasters… i dont believe you..non union line,en have always been at these things…all over the country…the union may have stopped them from working unsafe or endangering the union workers with their inadiquate equipment and training..i wouldnt want to work or depend on an untrained linemen..their lives depend on em..!!people are sooo stupid
      SM: You have obviously never lived or dealt with unions in NJ. They most certainly do dictate who does and does not work there. Try doing it and you will have your legs broken. There is a reason why they are referred to as union thugs.

    3. hollie on November 2nd, 2012 7:46 am

      An electrical lineman’s job is clearly one of the most dangerous in the United States. But the real tragedy, according to veteran linemen, family members, attorneys, and even OSHA investigators, is that many of those deaths and horrible injuries could and should have been prevented. The dirty secret of America’s “clean” power, they say, is that, since the electrical utility industry was deregulated in the 1980s, companies have increasingly found ways to cut back on their liabilities and expenses for line maintenance, resulting in less training, fewer experienced linemen, and a system by which companies are not held accountable or liable in any meaningful way, either by OSHA or in court. Family after family recounted stories of young men going up onto utility poles without adequate training, supervision, or equipment — and then of companies providing minimal benefits when the workers were maimed or killed, because they could claim “employee error” was the cause.
      SM: HUH?

    4. flutter1 on November 2nd, 2012 7:48 am

      Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. I doubt the people without power give a whit as to whether the guy reconnecting their electricity carries a union card or not. Maybe this will be a wake up call to some of the unionistas in those states.

    5. hikkie on November 2nd, 2012 7:50 am
    6. hollie on November 2nd, 2012 8:01 am

      if you were the military would you jump in a fox hole with someone who didnt know how to use his gun?????(equipment) but linemen are expected to trust guys with little training and substandard equipment to watch their backs????DUHHHH

    7. hollie on November 2nd, 2012 8:36 am
      would you work next to a worker who because of inadiquate training and equipment could cause this to happen to you???? think about it.

    8. wayne on November 2nd, 2012 8:43 am

      Its the Fed Gov who are stopping the Unions coming into NJ and sending the to NY.. Not Christie.

    9. hollie on November 2nd, 2012 8:59 am

      Huntsville Utilities said they were not turned away and are up in storm ravaged areas working

    10. rightknight on November 2nd, 2012 9:04 am

      Obama was going to release whatever monies were
      needed (borrowed from China of course) to help NJ.
      Calls would be answered in fifteen minutes. Steering
      that dough to Unions that support Obama may have
      been part of the ‘generosity’ of the President.

    11. A Texas Grandfather on November 2nd, 2012 9:38 am

      This is what you get when unions are in control. The governor will have to step in and make the unions back off their position.

      In the construction business, union labor is mostly a joke. Those that prepare job estimates always double the labor costs when union labor is to be used. It is mostly the work rules that “featherbed” the unions and keep them from performing as they should.

    12. mc on November 2nd, 2012 9:43 am

      On a related note, Mayor Bloomberg reallocates resources, police, generators, etc. to get set for the NY Marathon which is still on schedule for this Sunday…

      Exactly which planet does Bloomberg live on?

      I don’t live in the NYC area, but from the news, I thought they got walloped with a hurricane named Sandy.

      It’s so nice to know that Bloomberg would rather go with a sporting event than concentrate on the real issue of helping his constituents after a major freaking storm.

      This shouldn’t be a surprise from someone who was so much in favor of the Ground Zero Mosque.

      And don’t forget, New Yorkers, this man Bloomberg favors Obama!

    13. kingscairn on November 2nd, 2012 9:52 am

      Carpe – It’s not humanity that’s the problem , it’s the Marxists and their union henchmen in power right now that are the anarchist infection that ails you !
      If You want rational thought, exemplary action, prudent fiscal policy and pure American Patriotism ?
      Throw Obama and his minions out November 6th !

    14. Gina Rosavin on November 2nd, 2012 10:56 am

      This is not true – they were sent to Long Island instead because the NJ area had more crews already than it could handle. More specific info here:

    15. Tamikosmom on November 2nd, 2012 11:02 am

      Way to go Gov. Christie. Instead of mugging for photo-ops with Obama, one would think that you would make sure your state received all the help it could, union affiliation be damned.

      Posted November 2, 2012 by Scared Monkeys


      Mark Levin puzzled by Ann Coulter’s bizarre endorsement of Chris Christie, who supports gun control, amnesty, Obamacare and climate legislation
      Febrary 21, 2011

      What is your great love of Chris Christie based on? The man supports gun control. The man appoints a radical Islamist to a judgeship. The man is for amnesty [for illegal aliens]. The man is, to some extent, part of the “green” movement. He campaigned for Michael Castle.

      Read more:

    16. Samantha on November 2nd, 2012 12:09 pm

      Bill Yell, spokesman for Huntsville Utilities, said nine of his employees are currently helping with recovery from Hurricane Sandy and had no union-related issues.

      “That’s a rumor,” he said. “We are starting work this morning with Long Island Power Authority. We were headed to a New Jersey utility but they had all the crews they could handle.”

      A spokeswoman for Joe Wheeler Electrical Membership Cooperative said the crews from Trinity also are assisting with storm recovery and, in fact, are unionized.

      “It is not true for us,” she said. “I don’t know how we got lumped in there (in that report). We sent eight guys to Maryland, not New Jersey. They have been there since before the storm but they’ve finished work and are headed home this morning.”

    17. Wisco on November 2nd, 2012 12:34 pm

      Yes, unreal… as in, completely incorrect:

      Looks like it’s time to write a boring retraction. How sad, you had such a good unhinged anti-labor rant going there.

    18. Tamikosmom on November 2nd, 2012 3:06 pm

      ‘Bad Information’: Christie Explains Story of Why Non-Union Alabama Utility Workers Told Not to Help, Threatens to Pull Rank If It Does.


    19. Moi on November 2nd, 2012 3:06 pm

      If this is the case and true…let those in NJ rot and freeze in the elements. My God. What an arrogant bunch of fools. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth…they just shot the gift horse there to help their sorry, thankless butts. They deserve whatever comes as far as I’m concerned at this point

    20. A Texas Grandfather on November 2nd, 2012 11:12 pm


      I feel your frustration when those that voluteer to help in emergencies are turned away. However, think of all the misery that those damaged by the storm are suffering. Human kindness to others is to be commended.

      The fact that the IBEW wants to unionize anyone coming into their area in order to exercse control is the problem.

      I have years and years of engineering and management in the heavy construction business.

      The comment from Moi about the lack of skills and substandard equipment could not be further from the truth.

      Alabama is a right-to-work state that does not require union membership to hold a job. These guys are probably some of the best workmen in the utility that wanted to help get the communities working again.

      There are requirements for training that meet the national electric code in every state regardless of union membership or not. In my experience, it is often the non-union people who have the better skills.

    21. Kevin on November 3rd, 2012 3:18 pm

      I can’t believe this. I would rather terminate with a nonunion Journey Lineman anyday then a union lineman! I can’t believe people actually questioned there training!?Several of those guys are my coworkers and friends and I assure you they are more then qualified to work on there system then a lot of there own employees. They didn’t drive 800 miles for the fun of it.
      SM: Kevin, what else would you expect from liberals, sane, conscious thought?

    22. A Texas Grandfather on November 3rd, 2012 9:04 pm

      Yes Kevin, you are out there doing it daily. You well know the difference in work skills. These good skills are recognized by engineers and management and they appreciate the dedication and hard work.

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