A business coordinator at a power company in western Georgia told The Daily Caller Friday afternoon that workers from his electric-utility employer were not permitted to help restore power to New York consumers because they would not join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The revelation comes on the heels of similar stories TheDC has reported about power crews from Alabama and Florida who volunteered to fix downed power lines after Hurricane Sandy left millions in the Northeastern United States in the dark this week.
In a two-page Oct. 29 contract, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 1049 demanded union dues, pay hikes and benefit contributions from Florida electric utilities before its workers would be permitted to help reconnect power to Long Island communities. The demand came as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the Northeastern United States, stranding tens of millions without electricity.
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A New Jersey power company denied Friday that it is turning away nonunion volunteer crews who want to travel great distances to help reconnect power supplies severed by Hurricane Sandy. But an Alabama utility is clarifying that it was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers [IBEW] — not the company — that turned them away. And a Central Florida utility worker told The Daily Caller that he and his crewmates are still waiting for the union to back down before they could go to Long Island.
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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, cited in news reports for halting nonunion repair crews from helping to restore power in superstorm Sandy's New Jersey-New York path, is one of nation's top union donors to Democrats, a group President Obama last year praised in a visit to an IBEW training Center.