Transit- Workers in the Northeast Come Face to Face with Climate Change | Labor Notes

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

October 31, 2012

The concept of “rising oceans” suddenly became real this week on the New Jersey coastline and in lower Manhattan, where work crews are pumping salt water out of below-ground power and communications stations.

It’s another disaster where union members work round the clock, saving lives and even risking their own to restore people’s heat, light, phones, and transportation. Union members who last week were badmouthed for defending their pensions are now heroes again (until the next contract fight).

That hypocrisy on the part of the media and the pundits is infuriating. But even more enraging is the fact that climate change—almost certainly the cause of “Frankenstorm”—is not on the political radar. Climate change was not mentioned once in the presidential debates.

“To Obama and Romney: Now can we talk about global warming?” New York Transport Workers union activist Christine Williams wrote on her Facebook page. “Or you just wanna act like it doesn’t exist?”

The Transport Workers are trying to figure out how to clear subway tunnels that filled with seawater during the storm. They can’t start repairing the switches and tracks now immersed in corrosive salt water until the water is removed.


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