Con Ed Talks Break Down, Managers Called To Work

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Talks between Con Edison and its unionized workers broke down early Sunday with both sides "far apart."
Talks between Con Edison and its unionized workers broke down early Sunday with both sides "far apart." Photo Credit: Flickr user achouro

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Con Edison officials announced early Sunday that contract talks between the utility and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America had broken down and managers were being called in to maintain electric, gas and steam service to the company's 3.2 million customers.

The unionized workers were locked out after contract negotiations failed. According to union spokesman John Melia the talks had been going on for 10 days. The contract expired at midnight Saturday. 

Talks broke off shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday with both parties saying they remain "far apart" on the key issues including pensions, salary and health care.

The union represents about 8,000 Con Edison employees. Con Ed spokesman Don Clendenin said the company's offer to extend the current contract remains on the table, adding that if the union leadership agrees to extend the current contract, the company would "welcome its employees back immediately."

According to Con Edison, management also offered to continue negotiations if both sides agreed to give each other seven days advance notice of a strike or work stoppage. The union rejected the offer, according to the utility.

Clendenin issued a statement early Sunday saying Con Ed made the decision to bring in its management employees after they had prepared for a walkout over the past few months. The move, he said, was necessary to ensure customers had reliable service.

Word of the walkout comes amid a heatwave in Westchester County. The forecast for Sunday calls for  increasing clouds, with a high near 90, and temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s on Monday and Tuesday.

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Comments (7)

Why does Con Edison have one of the highest rates for electricity in New York? Does the cost of labor have anything to do with it?

Why would ConEd talk when they can buy DC and have unions outlawed!!
That's the plan folks!!

It's a bit different when we have PRIVATE corporations who make massive profits and whose CEO's make hundreds of times what the average worker in that massively profitable company do and they continue to work to strip away anything they can from those people in the name of the shareholder. I'm sure it is not the unions desire to "cause harm" to their customers, but to try and hold on to what they have. And hey SAYITSNOTSO, wasn't it the "free market capitalists" that brought the country to it's knees 4 years ago? Um yeah.

Another example of a profitable corporation attempting to break a union. No different then profitable Verizon attempting to bust the CWA. Stay strong Local 1-2. These 8,000 unionized workers allow the economic bread basket of our world, known as the NYC region to function. The very fact that Con Ed management called a LOCKOUT clearly tips their hand and tells of their intention to break this union. A DISGRACE!!!!! Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY

sayitsnotso, I sure wish I knew what you do for a living. You sound so angry at union workers for trying to make a living. 'give little back'? 'unions will bring our country to its knees'? Let's not be so melodramatic. Union members and ALL it's citizens built our country to what it is today. We all just want to make a living. Being a hater doesn't look good on you.

Just another example of a union willing to cause much harm and difficulties for the people who pay them to live well while they give little back, all the same, teachers, autoworkers, Verizon you name it, unions will bring our great country to its knees.

This is another example of corporate greed stalling our economic recovery as they squeeze out the last drop of profit for their own greedy pockets. This is the kind of job you must " give your life to" as all these blue collar workers are available 24 hours a day to repair, maintain and operate this very complex system. Without these skilled workers that system will fall apart in a few days, and it will take even longer hours to repair it. This is the same disconnect that most politicians have for their privileges , "if they have no bread,let them eat cake", seems to be the battle cry of the union busting negotiators. These Con Ed workers have taken many years to learn the intricacies of their jobs and , believe me, there is no college degree that can replace that experience. When it gets hot and dark in Con Ed territory maybe, just maybe, the men and women of these two locals will demonstrate their worth by the sweat of the executives brow...good luck union brothers and sisters, we are keeping our fingers crossed.