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Federal Mediators Set Meeting For Con Ed, Union

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – One day after talks between Con Edison and Local Union 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America broke down early Sunday morning, federal mediators were able to arrange another meeting between the union and the utility company.

On Monday, according to union and company officials, mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service set up a negotiation meeting for Thursday, July 5, at noon.

"We are pleased that talks will resume, as our focus since early Sunday has been to get the union leadership back to the negotiating table," the company said in a release issued Monday.

According to union spokesperson John Melia, the talks had been going on for 10 days. An agreement was not reached by time the workers' contract expired at midnight Saturday.

On Sunday, Con Ed rebuffed union workers' offer to work without a contract, and workers refused the company's proposal to extend their current contract until July 14 during which time talks would continue.

The company's 8,500 unionized workers were locked out of the company after contract negotiations failed and 5000 company managers were called in to maintain services for Con Ed's 3.2 million customers.

Federal mediators have been involved in the bargaining discussions since April 12 and have been present at "virtually all the meetings," according to Con Ed Public Affairs Manager Allan Drury.

Melia said that during these meetings, the mediators have been able to observe "Con Ed's behavior and their callous disregard for the public."

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