N.J. Says ‘No Thanks’ to Non-Union Crews

by Daniel Foster

Sandy may have devastated my beloved Garden State, but the closed-shop rules appear to be going strong:

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, New Jersey – Crews from Huntsville Utilities and Decatur Utilities are among many that made their way to the hurricane-ravaged East Coast only to be turned away in New Jersey, according to a WAFF 48 News report.

Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, told the North Alabama station they were told by crews in New Jersey that since they are not union employees, they are not allowed to work.

Apparently the crews are moving on to Long Island, where they expect a better welcome. For all of Governor Christie’s praise and the president’s talk about a “no red tape” recovery, how something like this could happen is baffling.

UPDATE: It looks like this story is a bit murkier than originally reported. Apparently what actually happened was the Alabama workers were required to sign paperwork to sign paperwork that affiliated them with a union, which they initially refused to do. While they were mulling it over, Seaside got help from other (presumably unionized) workers, and the Alabama crews moved on. So closed-shop rules didn’t prevent Seaside from getting help, they just delayed it from getting help.

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