Confusion causes utility crew to return from recovery effort - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Confusion causes utility crew to return from recovery effort

(Source: Derrick Moore) (Source: Derrick Moore)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A Decatur Utilities crew left Alabama to help with storm recovery in New Jersey, but did not make the trip because of what they are now calling confusion over union paperwork.

The six-man crew staged in Virginia, but Decatur Utilities said they were never able to get in touch with officials or utility companies in New York or New Jersey. While the crew stood down in Virginia, Decatur Utilities officials claimed they received a union contract they thought they would have to agree to before helping storm victims.

General Manager Ray Hardin appeared on Fox Business Channel Friday morning saying, "We were presented documents from IBEW that required our folks to affiliate with the unions and that was something we could not agree to."

Decatur Utilities later released a statement expanding on that, "Upon arriving at a staging area in Virginia, crews were held in place pending clarification of documents received from IBEW that implied a requirement of our employees to agree to union affiliation while working in the New York and New Jersey areas. It was and remains our understanding that agreeing to those requirements was a condition of being allowed to work in those areas."

Late Friday at a press conference, Hardin said the documents actually came from Electric Cities of Alabama, a coalition of the state's municipally owned utilities.

Bottom line, it appears now that Decatur Utilities wrongly assumed they would have to agree to the union contract before traveling to New Jersey to help with recovery efforts. The IBEW said in times of crisis, help is welcomed from union and non-union utility workers.

Hardin said as they waited for confirmation on the documents, crews received word that Seaside Heights had received the assistance they needed from other sources.

"At this stage, it is not clear who is alleged to have turned the crew away and the company that employs the affected workers has denied the claim," said IBEW President Ed Hill in a statement. "IBEW local leaders in New Jersey have reiterated what has been the long standing record of our union – in times of crisis all help is welcome and we pull together with everyone to meet the needs of the public. We have communicated this to the office of New Jersey Governor Christie as well."

The crew from Decatur Utilities attempted to look for work in other areas, but Hardin said based on the uncertainty of other union requirements, they made the decision to return home after being stalled in Virginia most of the day Thursday.

Other utility crews from Alabama are still helping with storm cleanup. Huntsville Utilities said they were not turned away and are in Long Island, New York. Joe Wheeler EMC said they did not respond to New Jersey, but did travel to Maryland and headed home once they were finished.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Related Content

Updated:

Utility crews volunteered with Sandy recovery. See photos. More>>

  • NewsMore>>

  • Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:03 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:03:23 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:07 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:07:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...

    Author of more than 25 books,  Philip Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for "American Pastoral."

    More >>

    Author of more than 25 books,  Philip Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for "American Pastoral."

    More >>
  • Trump eager to sign bill rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations

    Trump eager to sign bill rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:43:22 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:06 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:06:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - This March 6, 2018, file photo shows the Capitol in Washington. Several Democrats facing tough re-elections this fall are joining solid Republican backing of an effort to alter some key aspects of the Dodd-F...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - This March 6, 2018, file photo shows the Capitol in Washington. Several Democrats facing tough re-elections this fall are joining solid Republican backing of an effort to alter some key aspects of the Dodd-F...

    Trump is one step from checking off another campaign promise, an overhaul of the landmark Dodd-Frank bill that grew out of the 2008 financial collapse.

    More >>

    Trump is one step from checking off another campaign promise, an overhaul of the landmark Dodd-Frank bill that grew out of the 2008 financial collapse.

    More >>
  • US, South Korea work to keep North Korea summit on track

    US, South Korea work to keep North Korea summit on track

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:44 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:44:27 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:03 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:03:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly