Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The truth: Non-union workers WELCOMED to help with Sandy recovery

Those charming union-busters are at it again, smearing IBEW members with lies about Superstorm Sandy recovery to please their corporate paymasters.

The lies got halfway around the world before the truth had time to put its shoes on. What's most despicable is that an IBEW member from Canada died helping restore power after the storm. Another, from New Jersey, was injured. We doubt the union-busters and their propagandists were ever in harm's way during or after Superstorm Sandy.

Here's the truth, straight from the IBEW:
IBEW members and hundreds of other workers, union and nonunion, are pulling together to help the Northeast recover from the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy...The recovery has been a massive effort that deserves praise, but instead, there have been erroneous reports that have cast the heroic efforts of IBEW members in a bad light. 
The lie? IBEW allegedly turned away nonunion workers from helping in the restoration work and allegedly tried to force them to join a union.

Sean Hannity actually played an audio clip on his radio show of union workers shouting at scabs during a 2011 Verizon strike. He claimed it as evidence that union workers were turning away non-union workers who came to restore power after Superstorm Sandy. The IBEW tells us:
The reports are absolutely false... 
No assistance was ever turned away by the IBEW or any of its employers. Reports that help was denied in New Jersey proved to be totally false, even being denied by those who allegedly were turned away.
WAAY-TV reported "Officials say local utility crews NOT ‘turned away’ in NY/NJ.” And Ray Hardin, general manager of Decatur Utilities, explained what really happened (It was Decatur Utilities' crews that ere allegedly turned away):
Hardin said his office received a 31-page document which implied a requirement of his employees to agree to union affiliation while working in New York and New Jersey.  Earlier, it was thought that document came from IBEW.  IBEW denied that, and Friday afternoon, Hardin clarified the paperwork came from Electric Cities of Alabama
ECA is a coalition of Alabama’s municipally owned electric utilities ... Hardin said the ECA sent the document to his offices for planning purposes.  The ECA said Decatur Utilities might encounter this, because New Jersey is a heavy union state. 
Decatur Utilities looked at the document, and Hardin said it indicated his workers would have to sign to become union members and pay union dues.  But again, that was not the case.
Our sympathies are with the family and friends of the IBEW member who lost his life in the Superstorm Sandy recovery effort.