This would make sense under normal circumstances, and with workers who were actually bidding for contracted work.  But Hurricane Sandy has created extraordinary circumstances in New Jersey, and the crew in question were volunteers trying to lend a hand in a time of devastation.

Via the Daily Caller:

Utility crews from several states East of the Mississippi River hit the road this week to volunteer their time and talents in Northeastern states hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. But crews from Alabama got the shock of their lives when other workers in a coastal New Jersey town told them they couldn’t lend a hand without a union card.

Derrick Moore, who works for Decatur Utilities in Decatur, Ala., told WAFF-TV in Huntsville that crews in Seaside Heights, N.J. turned him and his crewmates away, saying they couldn’t do any work there because they’re not union employees.

As a result, crews from Decatur and Huntsville left the Jersey shore and headed to Long Island to pitch in.

WAFF’s Mark Thornton reported that Moore and his coworkers “are frustrated being told, in essence, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’”

Other utility crews have been told to stand down, while other have turned around and headed back home.

Meanwhile, nearly 1.6 million people in New Jersey remain without power, and there are concerns about hypothermia amidst weather reports that another storm is forecast for next week.