The recovery from Superstorm Sandy could be one of the most expensive in American history, with estimates climbingtoward the $50 billion mark in property damage alone. As Americans all across the country pitch in, most of the work repairing and rebuilding the storm-ravaged areas will be done by talented and hardworking union members. Many of the organizations dealing with Sandy’s devastation emphasize the importance of union workers’ expertise and skill, as well as of sufficient government financial support for rebuilding physical structures and roads and, in many cases, people's lives. Here is what our members have been doing to help with the recovery:
If you're in New York and need assistance locating Hurricane Sandy resources or want to volunteer to help, here are some links to get you started:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Website
This site has comprehensive info on applying for FEMA assistance, updates on gas shortages, warming centers and tips for cold weather, transportation (bridges, roads, subways, railways), food assistance, power outage updates, unemployment insurance and more.
Working people up and down the East Coast are pitching in to alert people about the clean up efforts for Hurricane Sandy and provide information for transportation, shelter and other resources. Firefighters, public employees, utility workers, letter carriers, nurses, grocery store employees, hotel workers and others continued to work through the storm to make sure everyone is taken care of. Once again, we’re reminded that work connects us all, and we’re better together. Here are some unions and agencies you can follow on Twitter and Facebook who've been hard at work during the storm:
Harry Farrell, president of Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America, said on Wednesday that its membership voted by a margin of 93 percent to accept a new four-year agreement with Consolidated Edison.
This is a cross-post from the New York State AFL-CIO website.
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on the end of the Consolidated Edison lockout:
This was one of the toughest contract fights New York has seen in recent memory, and I could not be prouder of the way the labor movement responded. Up against Con Ed’s billions, union members from across New York City and the state joined together to support the 8,500 workers and their families who were forced to the street. Public sector, private sector and building trades—our unions wholeheartedly embraced Utility Workers (UWUA) Local 1-2 members as their own, walking picket lines, rallying in Union Square, and reaching out to our communities.
This is a guest post from New York State AFL-CIO social media coordinator Kevin Eitzmann.
A diverse group of thousands of union members and community supporters marched in the heat from Con Edison’s "ivory tower" at 4 Irving Place to Union Square, New York City. With chants of “We Are One!” and signs bearing such slogans as “Con Ed Can’t Con Me” and “Con Ed Took Away My American Dream,” people were expressing their frustrations and showing solidarity with the locked-out Utility Workers (UWUA).
Michael J. Smith, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison for United Way of Monroe County (Mich.), sends us this report.
Kids in Monroe, Mich., will be able to bundle up against the cold Michigan winter with new coats, thanks to Utility Workers (UWUA) Local 223 and DTE Energy. The workers and management at the Monroe Power Plant raised $1,600 to purchase coats that were then donated to the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids program.
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), whose employess are represented by AFGE, to local workers answering emergency calls, government workers have been playing a major role in the cleanup effort of Hurricane Irene. Two of those workers, one in Rutland, Vt., and one in Princeton, N.J., lost their lives while trying to help keep their communiteis safe during the storm.
Consumers and the working men and women in Rialto, Calif., won a major victory last night as the City Council rejected a proposed 30-year lease of the c ity’s water and wastewater system to American Water. The Utility Workers (UWUA), which represents 2,500 American Water employees across the country, mobilized community opposition to the proposed scheme.
The Utility Workers (UWUA), along with the safe food advocacy group Food & Water Watch, this week filed a complaint with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), over the labor and environmental practices of United Water, a U.S. water utility and a subsidiary of French multinational Suez Environment.