Why The The Decatur, Ala., Utility Crew Returned Home From The Northeast

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Decatur Utilities sent a 6-man crew to the Northeast Wednesday, October 31, bound for Seaside Heights, N.J., to assist with power restoration. Communication with Seaside Heights was poor due to lack of cell phone service in the area.

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. As we waited for clarification, we became aware that Seaside Heights had received the assistance they needed from other sources. To be clear, at no time were our crews 'turned away' from the utility in Seaside Heights.

In connection with state and regional public power associations, Decatur Utilities attempted to contact other areas that needed assistance. However, based on the uncertainty of union requirements that we could not agree to and the uncertainty of whether a resolution could be reached, we ultimately made the decision to return them to Decatur after being stalled in the Virginia area most of the day on Thursday.

Decatur, Ala., Utilities 

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