Non-union utility crews turned away from NJ; plus background on the IBEW protection racket from Michelle Malkin
November 2, 2012 21 Comments
Business as usual
You’ve read my rants about crony-capitalism, and in truth utilities tend to fall into that category. There are a number of reasons, many of them historical. Back in the early part of the 20th century it became obvious that it was ridiculous to have two or more telephone companies serving the same town. Anyway, Theodore Vail, the Chairman of AT&T came up with a plan which allowed the government (state government, usually) to regulate rates, including a fair (usually around 5%) profit in return for providing good, universal service.
As the electric utilities spread, and especially after the Insull empire collapsed, this scheme spread, with some differences to the electric utilities. One of the big ones was the REA (now RUS) that we’ve discussed here. Again it worked well, providing the United States with dependable electric and telephone service wherever you lived. The envy of the world, really.
But, the whole scheme did lead to a lot of contacts with government and a fair amount of cronyism. Some helped the consumer and some hurt, depended on what the motives were. But crony-capitalism, like all coins, has a reverse face. They are unions.
We’re talking this week about Hurricane Sandy, of course, which blew in on New Jersey and New York, doing a lot of damage to the utilities. As a side note, for you smart-alecks that thought your cel-phone made you invulnerable, 1 out of every 4 cell towers in the Northeast is down at the moment, due to damage , or lack of electrical power.
New York and New Jersey were at one time industrial powerhouses, one of the first and the best of America’s industrial areas, it’s pretty much gone now- to the Midwest and South and to Asia. Leaving the population to spend their days sitting in cubicles
shuffling paper inconveniencing electrons. Why? Unions and government. At the end here you will find an article from Michelle Malkin describing how line crews from the south who came up to help in storm restoration were turned away because they were non-union. I was surprised, not that they were turned away, that’s normal in a union state, but that they even bothered. We all know better, they must have a young and idealistic manager. This is what happens when the unions are in control, everywhere else in the country we all work together in this type of situation, I have been known to call my counterparts in the union my brothers, and they have me as well. The unions did a lot for all of us but, the leadership now has lost sight of the mission like others before them.
What killed the US steel industry? The USW. What’s killing the Big 3 Carmakers? The UAW. The Europeans and Japanese all say America is the best place to make cars, in the right-to work south. One of the European’s supercars, BMW I think, designed in California, built in Tennesee, sold world-wide.
So for you guys in the northeast freezing in the dark this weekend, there’s a lot of us who would be happy to come help out but, your government protected, unionized utilities won’t let us.
Sorry about that 😦
Via Twitchy, read about Alabama TV station WAFF’s report on non-union utility crews who traveled from the South to help restore power to Hurricane Sandy victims — only to be turned away because they were non-union.
Don’t believe it could happen? Think again.
First, a comment from a Twitchy reader: “I’m from Jersey. I had to work with an IBEW crew for years in Hackensack. (Sopranos Country). Trust me, these guys can be filth. Not all of them, but many of them don’t give a *blank* about anything but themselves and the union. Violence is always an option. In Jersey its just a way of life. Sorry to the good people who wasted their time driving north expecting union scum to appreciate the help.”
Second, some useful background about the IBEW’s legacy of intimidation and violence against non-union competitors:
- Big Labor first, victims last: Non-union utility crews from Ala. spurned by N.J. (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Non-Union Alabama Utility Workers Denied Entry into New Jersey – Told to Stand Down (Video) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- So much for ‘no red tape’ in helping ravaged Jersey, work crews traveled from Alabama to help but were turned away because they were non-union (impeachobamatoday.wordpress.com)
- IBEW Crews Make the Wrong Call in New Jersey (lezgetreal.com)
- New Jersey town to Ala. volunteer utility crew: Don’t help with Sandy unless you’re unionized (redalertpolitics.com)
- NJ town turns away nonunion electrical crews from Alabama (radio.woai.com)
- So, unions are about people right? (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Huntsville Utilities crews turned away from New Jersey aid for being nonunion (al.com)