November 2, 2012
An Alabama utility crew heading to New Jersey has returned home, claiming it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy. But union officials, a New Jersey utility company and the governor say they were are mistaken.
The general manager of Decatur Utilities, Ray Hardin, said a six-member crew left for Seaside Height, N.J. It got as far as a staging area in Virginia before returning home. Hardin said documents from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers implied the non-union workers had to agree to union affiliation.
A spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said he doesn't know what papers the crew was given, but union and non-union crews are working in New Jersey. He calls it a misunderstanding.