UPDATE: Alabama utility company helps in northeast after Sandy
By NBC News
UPDATE - A press release from Decatur (AL) Utilities issued Friday afternoon said that a six-person crew was sent to Seaside Heights, NJ to assist with power restoration.
Communication was hampered by poor cell phone service.
When the crew arrived in the staging area in Virginia, crew were held in place "pending clarification of documents received by IBEW [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers] 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."
The release continues to explain that as the crew waited for clarification, the Seaside Heights, NJ area had received assistance from other sources.
"To be clear, at no time were our crews "turned away" from the utility in Seaside Heights" the release explained.
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY (NBC) -- At a time when the Northeast is in desperate need of help, utility crews from Alabama are being told thanks but no thanks.
Crews from Huntsville and Decatur utilities headed north earlier this week, but they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can't do any work there since they're not union employees.
The crews say they're frustrated because they originally received a call asking for help in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
The crews are now headed to New York, to help with recovery work there.
WAFF-TV in Huntsville (http://bit.ly/Yuld3j) is reporting that the general manager of Decatur Utilities, Ray Hardin told Fox Business they were presented documents from the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers at a staging area in Virginia.
The documents stated they had to affiliate with a union to work, which the crews could not agree to.