Non-union utility crews turned away from NJ; plus background on the IBEW protection racket from Michelle Malkin

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 😦

Here’s Michelle.

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:

Continue reading Michelle Malkin » Report: Non-union utility crews turned away from NJ; plus background on the IBEW protection racket.

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21 Responses to Non-union utility crews turned away from NJ; plus background on the IBEW protection racket from Michelle Malkin

  1. Freedom, by the way says:

    Sounds like Christie has a BIG problem on his hands. Now he has to pacify both residents waiting for power and unions wanting as much OT as they can get–the powerless public, be damned. If I drove up to NJ to help out and was turned away because I wasn’t union it would be a cold day before I ever attempted to help again.


    • That’s why I was surprised at the story, the Northeast, especially Jersey, has been like that all my life. New York, on the other hand, is so different than anything most of us know that we’re not really qualified especially in Manhattan.

      But your right, this is one of those cases where the consumer comes last by a lot. They could fix it but, they won’t.


    • AFVET says:

      Yeah, and when the people that are freezing with no lights, and no food inquire as to why it’s taking so long to restore the power they can tell them that they turned away utility workers that traveled from Alabama because they weren’t union.
      Obama said that he was going to cut through the red tape.
      You go Barry.


  2. samiam60 says:

    When I had my sign shop the Union Workers got near violent at the Chevy Plant when I attempted to install a temporary sign on the grounds. I ended up having to pay Union Carpenters to install the sign at outrageous rates. Needless to say Union Wages and Retirement Plans are what Bankrupted GM and Chrysler.


    • Yep, Wages, Retirement plans, and work rules. And at that you were lucky that it only got near violent.

      I understand their problem, they’re overpaid (badly, often) for what they do and don’t want to get off the gravy train.


  3. mtsweat says:

    Your comment says it best in reply, “They could fix it but, they won’t.” I’m told there was a day when unions were a good thing. Not anymore… and not in my lifetime. We’ve just about run them out of these Southern states where I live. Good riddance! Now our biggest challenge comes from some yahoo who decided Govt. employees should form unions. It is a proven fact. Non-union anything runs more efficiently and is leaps and bounds more effective than anything run by unions… or our government. Torch the halls!!! 🙂 Blessings good friend.


    • There was. it was before my lifetime as well but, they had a good bit to do with establishing safe workplaces and reasonable work hours and such. We have some, mostly in Omaha, but otherwise very little and we’re far better off for it. And most employers (not all) have figured have figured out that dead and injured employees aren’t very productive.

      The big unions are the flip side of the big wall street firms, both in their present form, are an anachronism, and far to dependent on the government.


    • Freedom, by the way says:

      Isn’t “Government Employee Union” an oxymoron?


  4. AFVET says:

    These people are in dire straits, and yet, even though Obama stated that he was going to cut through the red tape, the unions are still directing the show.
    Where is Obama ? Campaigning in Ohio on a last ditch effort to get re-elected.
    Hmmmmm,….why not New Jersey or New York ?????

    Great post.


    • Afvet, you know the answer. Those fools will freeze in the dark till Tuesday and still vote for the Jackass in Chief.


      • AFVET says:

        Maybe not.
        They are still running the New York marathon amidst people who are dumpster diving for food.
        Generators are being used to supply power to the damn time clocks for the race.
        Refugees of the storm are being kicked out of hotels to make room for the runners.
        The priorities are upside down.
        The city stands to pull in around 300 million with this stupid race.
        Bloomberg should be run out of town on a rail straight into jail along with the governor.
        I heard that they are bringing in military vehicles to use as voting booths.
        That is how desperate they are to try to sustain their power over the ignorant.
        Anyone with a functioning brain would not vote for Obama again.

        However, never underestimate the power of a horde of stupid people.


      • Freedom, by the way says:

        I cannot believe they are going on with the marathon. But I really can’t believe that they would kick out anyone staying in hotels because of the storm for runners–ah, because they had reservatons? So it’s business as usual–for some. What I find incredulous is that runners who do not reside in NYC would actually travel there to run in a race. And since transporation is such an issue are they planning to run from La Guadia to the start line? Maybe THAT should be the marathon and they can make it a tri-athelon event to include swimming through one of the tunnels.


        • I don’t either, makes no sense whatsoever, unless your an idiot. I assume you saw byDesign’s post last night that they’re also denying National Guard troops to the outer boroughs. I feels so sorry for those folks but, in some ways they made the bed with their love for big government, even as the folks in New Orleans did.


  5. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:
    Sort of sucks doesn’t it?


  6. Pingback: Hump Day Report: Four More Days, Four More Days! « Hump Day Report

  7. jackcurtis says:

    Seems to me, American unions are inherently corrupt since they are clients of government and cronies of politicians. Public unions are corrupt absolutely, as their interest oppose those of the public. Can’t get there from here!


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