When Hurricane Sandy first hit, unions tried to monopolize the work and even drive away non-union linemen from Alabama, despite large numbers of families waiting for the power to come on.
Now the New Jersey State Senate has voted to compel that reconstruction to only be carried out by union workers. If you were wondering why politicians were so desperate to get the Sandy funding, it wasn’t to help people, they could care less about the storm victims, it was to bring in more pork and more cash for their union pals.
A bill that was authored by an Ironworkers’ union organizer to expand union-only Project Labor Agreements–to include Hurricane Sandy cleanup and reconstruction–passed the New Jersey Senate on Monday along party lines 23-13.
The Ironworkers’ union organizer who drafted the pro-union bill, Steven Sweeney, also happens to be the president of the New Jersey Senate
Can you say conflict of interest?
Sweeney is selling this as an effort to keep jobs in New Jersey, even though funds for this are coming from across the country and the union clause can add 18 to 24 percent to the cost of the reconstruction.
The post-hurricane reconstruction has already boosted NJ jobs by 30,000, though the unemployment rate is still at 9.6, which makes it the fourth highest in the country.
This is an integrity test for Christie, who pledged to oppose PLAs while originally running for office. We’ll see whether he passes it or flunks it.