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Tue Oct 30, 2012, 11:55 AM

An Ordinary Story of Extraordinary Bravery, Brought to You by Union Labor (this happened last night)

Last edited Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:21 PM - Edit history (1)

An Ordinary Story of Extraordinary Bravery, Brought to You by Union Labor
By William Rivers Pitt
BuzzFlash

10/30/2012

Here in Boston, Hurricane Sandy started winding down near midnight. The wind was still howling, but the rain had slacked off, and you could just feel the pressure in the air lessening…and then, *piff*, the power went out.

I went outside to find the street dark for two blocks in both directions. Down the eastern end of the block, I saw the flashing yellow lights of a power company truck, and went to investigate. The last house on the right had the upper two-thirds of a huge tree lying on its roof, and the tree was draped across the power cables.

That’s when I saw the crane, and the guy hovering in midair.

Our local power company had brought in a crane to move the tree. The tree had not cut the power cables when it fell, but it was lying heavily across them, and the power company had cut the power in those cables in order to safely move the tree. The guy was in a harness, suspended in midair over the tree and the house, maybe three stories up. They maneuvered him into place, and he attached a series of lines to the tree. The engine on the crane revved, and the tree was slowly lifted off the roof.

And the guy went with it, hovering in space, guiding 50 feet of tree through the air. The tree looked like God’s Own Broccoli Floret floating there in the wind, and the guy went with it, up off the power cables, over the street, and slowly, slowly down to the ground.

(snip)

The guy I saw 50 feet of the ground, guiding that huge tree off the power cables and the house, was a member of the Utility Workers of America Local 369. All over the East Coast, and especially in New York and New Jersey, union workers just like him have been breaking their backs to keep the rest of us safe and to mitigate the damage done by this storm. Firefighters, rescue workers, police officers, utility workers, transit workers, postal workers: you name it, they’re doing it, men and women alike, and they are all members of a union.

Look for the Union label, America. Today, yesterday and tomorrow, we owe Union workers an incredibly large thank you.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17607-an-ordinary-story-of-extraordinary-bravery-brought-to-you-by-union-labor

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply An Ordinary Story of Extraordinary Bravery, Brought to You by Union Labor (this happened last night) (Original post)
WilliamPitt Oct 2012 OP
CherokeeDem Oct 2012 #1
roguevalley Oct 2012 #38
NBachers Oct 2012 #40
speedoo Oct 2012 #2
PDJane Oct 2012 #3
Whovian Oct 2012 #4
ruffburr Oct 2012 #5
central scrutinizer Oct 2012 #35
Change has come Oct 2012 #6
niyad Oct 2012 #7
Tsiyu Oct 2012 #8
libdem4life Oct 2012 #28
Tsiyu Oct 2012 #29
libdem4life Oct 2012 #30
Tsiyu Oct 2012 #31
libdem4life Oct 2012 #33
HopeHoops Oct 2012 #9
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2012 #10
davsand Oct 2012 #11
freshwest Oct 2012 #32
SemperEadem Oct 2012 #12
ewagner Oct 2012 #13
Arugula Latte Oct 2012 #14
calimary Oct 2012 #15
robbob Oct 2012 #16
pansypoo53219 Oct 2012 #17
cpamomfromtexas Oct 2012 #18
cliffordu Oct 2012 #19
HuckleB Oct 2012 #20
marions ghost Oct 2012 #21
gademocrat7 Oct 2012 #22
tosh Oct 2012 #23
heaven05 Oct 2012 #24
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #25
libdem4life Oct 2012 #26
louis c Oct 2012 #27
tavalon Oct 2012 #41
louis c Oct 2012 #46
BlueNoteSpecial Oct 2012 #49
WilliamPitt Oct 2012 #34
WilliamPitt Oct 2012 #36
lindysalsagal Oct 2012 #37
Rose Siding Oct 2012 #39
BigMike63 Oct 2012 #42
Ednahilda Oct 2012 #43
Generic Other Oct 2012 #44
ailsagirl Oct 2012 #45
N_E_1 for Tennis Oct 2012 #47
efhmc Oct 2012 #48

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 11:58 AM

1. Thank you...

No truer words could be written.

Thanks to our Union workers!

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Response to CherokeeDem (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 09:15 PM

38. my IBEW lineman nephew works at -40 to restore power in windchill for

up to 40 hours straight. This is what they do. God bless everyone who serves the public in any capacity. You can do a lot of good every single time you speak to someone who works for the government (at any level) by telling them you appreciate their service. It is shocking to me when I do this how almost pitifully grateful they are to hear it. I always do it. Try it. You can make someone's rotten day better.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #38)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 12:32 AM

40. You know, it's funny you say this. A science teacher came into my store today to buy some tubing.

He was going to use it to put together a dry ice cloud spook thing for his class of sixth graders for halloween.

A nice, friendly, unassuming young guy. I thanked him and let him know I respected him for being a teacher.

He got kind of bashful and didn't quite know what to say. They've been demonized and put down so much, they probably feel like the enemy.

We've got to turn this fucking shit around.

Christ, now my blood pressure's going up and I'm going to start spluttering with rage . . .

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:04 PM

2. Wonderful story.

And a testament to one of the strengths of this nation.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:05 PM

3. I am glad that these men and women are out there.

I know a few of them. Incredibly hard working and dedicated people.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:08 PM

4. K&R

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:13 PM

5. No unions-

No first responders, No FEMA, No safety net ,No conscience, Thats the Republican Way, No matter how Mitt flip-flops in interviews. Anyone who votes for these people should really Open their Eyes,Smell the coffee, And change their vote! Thank you all First responders and crews ,A real HECK of a job

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Response to ruffburr (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 05:15 PM

35. no unions = no apprenticeship programs

that's how you learn your trade - lots of classes then work many hours at the elbow of an experienced journeyman. Finally you get your license and then you can pass on the knowledge. If the repugs have their way, everything will be done by the lowest bidder who cut the most corners with the least trained workers.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:13 PM

6. K & R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:21 PM

7. k and r

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:24 PM

8. And if the teabaggers have their way

the author'd still be out of power, or someone in that neighborhood would have died trying to pull the tree off the lines with his bootstrap.

This is what disgusts me about Teabaggers - they'll be the first to complain about no power, and the last to want to compensate fairly those who would restore it.




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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:44 PM

28. The description of a young child ... as adults, stunted maturity.

Lacking their own authority and identity...RWers.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:55 PM

29. Most of us stop being so ego-centric around age 8



Teabaggers continue to believe the world revolves around them. Even as old people, dependent on government!

They want socialized help for themselves, and nothing for anyone else.

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:35 PM

30. That was what I loved about teaching 3rd grade...it was the dawning of social consciousness

Most teabaggers are still in 2nd grade mentality.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #30)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:39 PM

31. If they've even made it that far lol

I've seen even toddlers share...


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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #31)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:04 PM

33. So true. Usually, at that point it's great parents.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:50 PM

9. K&R - we need unions.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:51 PM

10. I am happy to report that Alabama Power Company is union also.

When the power trucks have to come out after a storm around here, people in the nighborhood actually bring coffee
or water to the crews, and thank them.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:05 PM

11. Ah yes--another "Union Thug" in action.

My prayers go out to not just the folks who live there but also for the folks who are out there on the front lines of this storm--the first responders and the utility workers, the EMS folks, and all the medical staff working in this time of crisis.

Never forget that while they are risking their own life and limb their own families are at home living thru this without them there. Unsung heroes, with little to no appreciation for what they do and how much they give to us all.


Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:55 PM

32. +1,000.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:28 PM

12. Storm recovery--brought to you by your local union

there when no one else wants to be bothered with helping you without payment.

Unions are important and necessary to this country.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:37 PM

13. Governor Walker's supporters

...would have called this guy a "Union Thug"....until he saved their collective asses!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:37 PM

14. I'm in awe of those people.

One time we had a tree split and fall and it was lying across some lines. Turns out they weren't power lines, but rather cable, but the power guy came out at 10 pm and cut up that tree for us anyway just because he was a nice guy and had a chainsaw handy (the tree was partially blocking a road). He couldn't take money so we paid him in homemade chocolate chip cookies.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:38 PM

15. KICK! Proud union member here!

What I wrote when I shared this on Facebook:

Unions. QUIT BAD-MOUTHING THEM!!!!! They just might SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Another good one, Will!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 01:57 PM

16. Heard on the news

Canada (Quebec Hydro) has sent 6-7 crews (over 50 men) down to Vermont to help clean up. They go because they are needed. Next time you hear somebody bashing Canada remind them that we are neighbours, and neighbours help each other out in times of need...

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:12 PM

17. i treasure my toast grabber w/ the PAPER union label. i got 3 of them

in a mixed kitchen stuff bag at an estate sale.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:15 PM

18. Good Story, examples like this should be covered daily on a special website!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:17 PM

19. K&R.

Goddamned right.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:17 PM

20. K & R!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:17 PM

21. Inspiring story

--just another day in a very risky business.

We need more unions, not less.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:26 PM

22. K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:29 PM

23. K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:30 PM

24. well

I'M UNION and I salute these union workers. Mittsnake wants to get rid of unions. Mitttwit, get outta here!!!!! Mitttwit is such a POS. I'M in michigan and winds are still gusting over 50mph.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:34 PM

25. kr

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:39 PM

26. Kind of says it all. Heroes.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:42 PM

27. Just like 9/11/01

Almost all of the heroes were card carrying union members.

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Response to louis c (Reply #27)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 03:40 AM

41. I'm not only a card carrying union member

but I'm a member of a private sector union, a rare, rare bird these days.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #41)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 11:15 AM

46. So am I

IBEW at a private sector racetrack.

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Response to louis c (Reply #46)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 12:12 PM

49. SMWIA Journeyman here, installing hot/cold deck hvac in hospitals & schools...public schools. eom

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:37 PM

34. Up

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 07:26 PM

36. One last Up

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 09:14 PM

37. o no, you're not done yet.

I'm union. And I'm really proud. ~snif~

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 09:18 PM

39. My dad was a lineman for the DWP in LA, and climbed 150 ft towers on the desert

He retired a foreman -early, disgusted and worried for his crew after cuts to training programs -with a decent pension and great health benefits. I was always so proud of his union.

The dangerous work they do is so under-appreciated.

His cousin worked the power lines in WV. Got both his hands blown off on a job.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 08:19 AM

42. Obama vs. Romney

<a href="http://imgur.com/dp8Pa"><img src="" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 10:08 AM

43. Thank you for the reminder.

Hubby is a proud IBEW electrician, as was his father. He gets so much guff about being "overpaid" from the conservatives in our area, but when they need electrical work done they call John, because they know he always does exceptional work. And yes, the apprenticeship system is first-rate.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 10:22 AM

44. Thank you union workers!!

Thank you.

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #44)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 11:09 AM

45. kick

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 11:15 AM

47. Unions ...

The backbone of this country.

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Response to N_E_1 for Tennis (Reply #47)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 12:08 PM

48. So true. Welcome here.

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