Union cries “Don’t blame us” while ignoring Smart Meter safety issues

Despite outreach and expert information from community advocates, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – IBEW – ignored all safety issues related to Smart Meters except for one local in Tennessee.

This is in stark contrast to the Electrical Trades Union in Australia which was vehement in their objections, calling for the program to be halted and telling the new media that Smart Meters are a fire hazard, and that they feared people would have to die before federal officials took action.[i]

Local 1288 in Tennessee spoke out at public meetings against the meters and the fire risk. They even went so far as to plan billboards to warn the public.[ii]

The industry association Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – IEEE — was alarmed over the fires in 2012.[iii] So, what’s wrong with the union?

Now, IBEW is crying that Smart Meter problems are not the installers’ fault. [iv]“Don’t blame the union” doesn’t carry any weight coming from a union almost entirely lacking in any safety concern over Smart Meters and which has generally treated communities so poorly.

Union contractors have bullied and harassed the public, lied about Smart Meters and their utility companies, even physically pushed people around. They installed meters by stealth and trespass, used dangerous techniques such as pulling them off under load, and have not notified residents that power would be disconnected despite the threat of physical harm to residents, including power disconnection to essential medical devices or power tools. They have even vandalized property to do their installation.

These incidents have happened repeatedly.

IBEW in general has been unconcerned about the safety issues to their communities, even sending representatives repeatedly to government meetings, such as the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors in California, to support Smart Meters. And they have opposed ordinances which would halt Smart Meter installation.

IBEW ignores worker safety. Despite the danger of electrocution from pulling of meters “under load”, that is, with the electricity on, their workers, who are not electricians but just temps with minimal training, have done just that.

And IBEW defends the safety of Smart Meters despite the close range that these contractors work all day long in front of individual Smart Meters and banks of Smart Meters. What non-disclosure clause have workers signed? Have workers received any information on the health consequences for this long-term, high intensity exposure? What medical care is available to them long-term? What health problems are already manifesting?

How many millions of dollars did IBEW receive in union dues for these temporary workers to ignore these issues and act as neighborhood bullies?

IBEW and utility companies work hand in glove to force Smart Meter installation on communities everywhere. Look through campaign contributions to officials, and also discover the large contributions IBEW makes to keep officials compliant.

This is a win-win-win for them, and a triple loss for us.

This triune cooperation dooms public safety, as they sell out for money and power.

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[i] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/smart-meter-death-fears/story-fn7x8me2-1226285463342

 

[ii] http://www.wmctv.com/story/22229806/unions-oppose-mlgws-smart-meter-expansion

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2013/jul/10/ibew-plans-smart-meter-billboard-protest/

 

[iii] http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/smart-meter-fire-reports

 

[iv] http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Smart+meter+installers+problem+Union/10141322/story.html

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