Skip to comments.Christie threatens ‘Disaster Control Act’ order to guarantee nonunion utility workers...
Posted on 11/03/2012 2:52:37 AM PDT by markomalley
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bristled at reports Friday that an electricians union stood in the way of some utility workers who wanted to help restore power to victims of Hurricane Sandy. He would use his emergency-management powers, he said, to guarantee that nonunion crews could help restore his states electricity grid without interference.
Ive been on the phone with PSE&G [Public Service Electric and Gas Company], JCP&L [Jersey Central Power & Light] and the union, and theyve all absolutely promised me they would never turn away a single worker whether they were union or nonunion, and I wouldnt allow it, Christie told reporters shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
I would invoke my powers under the Disaster Control Act to prevent that from happening, but theyve assured me we dont have to. (RELATED: NJ utility denies turning away nonunion electric crew volunteers from Ala.).
But a spokesman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didnt reply to emails asking whether his boss would take a similar hard line. A spokeswoman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo similarly didnt return phone calls asking the same question.
Christie said Friday that there was one incident of this in Seaside Heights since Superstorm Sandy hit.
First of all, the workers never came to New Jersey, okay? They werent turned away when they got here. They heard that New Jersey was a union state, coming from Alabama. When they stopped in Virginia, they called to see what they would do and they were given bad information.
Christie said his states major utilities and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have all said they do not have that requirement.
The Daily Caller had published a report more than an hour earlier about electric utility crews from central Florida that idled for two days instead of working on Long Island, while their managers dealt with the unions demands.
It turns out there was a 300-page contract that the union controlling LIPA [the Long Island Power Authority] wanted everybody to sign first, the crewman told TheDC. We dont have time for that. Weve got guys ready to go. You need lawyers for this. (RELATED: Ala. utility, Fla. crewman blame electricians union for interfering with Hurricane Sandy relief)
An IBEW spokesman told TheDC on Friday that the IBEW did not send the documents the Florida crews managers described, nor did any of our locals.
But he didnt reply when asked if he had communicated with all 273 locals in the union districts where Sandys impact was felt. Those include 20 IBEW locals in New Jersey, 48 in New York, 10 in Connecticut and 52 in Pennsylvania.
A few hours after Christie spoke, TheDC reported on another case this one involving an electric co-operative in Georgia whose workers were turned away from New York because they werent union members.
Neither of those cases involved New Jersey, but Christie threatened to invoke the authority he holds under New Jersey law if it became necessary. The states Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act gives the governor broad power to control utility repair squads and other volunteer agencies in times of crisis.
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts told TheDC that both union and nonunion crews are at work right now in New Jersey, restoring power.
He said he believed those nonunion crews included some from outside New Jersey, but conceded he would need to confirm that.
Roberts reiterated Christies vow to bring utility companies to heel if nonunion workers werent welcomed into the Garden State. But he stopped short of saying the governor would apply the same level of aggressiveness to the IBEW.
It would be absolutely premature for me to talk about what the governor would or wouldnt do in the absence of more proof, Roberts told TheDC.
Were always open to evaluating new information.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Chrissie’s finished.
That’s more like it, Christie!
I was in a union for 11 years - never again. If the union leadership spent half the time working that they did trying to “get back” at management, they might have earned half their pay. I have a few war stories to tell from those years, but suffice to say that the utilities from the south that were given the ultimatum of joining the union did the right thing by turning back.
If they're protesting my help in NJ then I'm not going in there...period.
Christie will beat any challenger; he represents NJ taxpayers well. Even libs know that without him NJ just becomes a mini-California, with massive numbers of people reaching their hands into an ever-shrinking public till.
I posted this yesterday on another thread:
“I have two sons pulling up to 22 hour shifts, one guarding downed power lines in Monmouth County, the other trying to get the phone system up at the Seaside Heights police station. One got his homes power restored yesterday in Toms River, and one is still without power in Lakehurst.
They have put up with no heat, no gasoline, no showersyet they get up each morning to do their best in the face of utter devastation.
We live in southern DE, and we got through Sandy with very few problems.
This afternoon we were in Dover, DE, and saw a fifteen truck convoy from Chain Electric from somewhere in Mississippi heading north
Well,I lost it, knowing they were on the way to help my sons and so many others in NY and Nj who need them so much. God bless them for coming to help, it was like watching the Cavalry come to the rescue.
Even the Mafia and the unions know better than to piss off millions of Jerseyans.
When I heard about this story this morning, I emailed Gov. Christie, sent the article to Fox and Friends, called .congressman ,Chris Smiths office, called Senator Frank Lautenburgs office and even called Sen. Jeff Sessions of ALs office to investigate this.
NJ needs all the help they can get, and let me tell you, they are grateful,for all of it.”
The union goombas aren’t ‘fessing up, but they got caught.
And Christie will have none of it.
It’s hard to be in charge when a disaster hits. People will associate failure with responsibility, even though there were few intervention opportunities.
Well, Christie has jumped the shark as far as I am concerned as a trustworthy national Republican figure. His overt sucking up to Obama over Sandy shows he is all flash of light and no thunder when the rubber meets the road.
thank you my friend. my feelings exactly.
You don’t know what your talking about.
You don’t know what your talking about.
Own it Christie. Dispense with the CYA, apologize and vow to prevent it from happening again, rather than coming across sounding as if you’re calling Decatur Utilities liars. There is audio, you know. Played on Hannity. You have national political ambition. Southerners are very willing to help people in need. But, we also have long memories.
Do the honorable thing rather than besmirch the honor of others.
Give your mom and dad a big hug from me. I am sorry their home flooded. We almost suffered the same fate here, but were spared.
I know your hometown has suffered greatly. We cannot believe the pictures from Brick, Seaside Heights and the barrier islands in Jersey.
NJ folks are the best, and you are at the top of the list.
God bless you and strengthen you.
Obama didn't help NJ one bit.
I heard it yesterday - wish I could find it on the 'net. It's presents the exact impression of union leadership that I have gotten over the years. The membership - not too many problems with most of them, but the union leadership - bunch of communist morons IMHO.
“You have national political ambition.”
I seriously doubt that; a governor has more power than a representative or a senator (a chief instead of one of many braves). There is nothing to indicate Christie has any appeal outside of a high-tax socialist toilet (where he is needed to fix things); too much of this country doesn’t have the problems Christie is designed to fix.
“We cannot believe the pictures from Brick, Seaside Heights and the barrier islands in Jersey.”
The aerial shot of the bridge connecting to the washed-out section of the islands (basically splitting an island in two, and leaving one shattered home on a tiny island in the middle) is incredible. The burned homes in Mantoloking are something else as well...