No Pay, Health Insurance for Locked Out Con Ed Workers

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Monday is the first day many Consolidated Edison workers will go without a paycheck. The approximately 8,000 splicers call center operators and grid designers have been locked out of their jobs since July 1, which means they will do without wages and health insurance until the two sides come to an agreement.

Tom Crawford has worked for Con Ed 23 years. On Sunday, he was one of a handful of workers sitting behind a picket line at Con Ed's offices near Union Square. Crawford says he's applied for unemployment benefits but expects those won't kick in for several weeks. "Like I said, right now it's tight and if it's any prolonged period then it's going to be extremely tight," Crawford said.

Crawford and others present said they were willing to stick it out, adding the utility company was asking for concessions that were not fair. 

Union officials said management wants workers to accept a less generous pension plan, as well as higher healthcare premiums and co-pays.

Con Ed wouldn't comment on the contract sticking points. "We're not going to negotiate in the press," spokesman Alfonso Quiroz said. 

The workers were locked out after Local 1-2 refused to give management 72-hours notice before a strike.  Union officials said labor is the only leverage they have and it wouldn't have made sense to give that up.

Charlie Migliore is an operating mechanic at a plant on 16th street and says he's 50 years old and has saved for a rainy day such as this one but the bigger problem for him is not having health insurance. "I'm a few years removed from a triple bypass so I'm out here I need my medications. I have a 90 day supply," Migliore explained.  "After that it's going to be pick and choose what I want to purchase. I know the COBRA, I can't afford it right now.

A union spokesman said to extend health coverage through COBRA would cost between $1,200 and $2,000 a month, depending on a family's size.

John Melia from Local 1-2 said workers wages vary greatly from $12 an hour for those just starting out to $59 an hour for trained professionals with years on the job.

Health insurance is also a problem for worker Robert Williams, who said he has a sick wife in need of a blood transfusion and endoscopy. "That's been cancelled," Williams said. "And CVS called and they cancelled the prescription medications. So I'm in a bad way right now."

While the picket line was slim on Sunday, union officials said it would pick up during the week.

Talks are expected to resume Tuesday.


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Comments [23]

Brooklyn Endoscopy News

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Dec. 26 2012 12:30 AM
Brian from Queens

JD from Brooklyn does not know what he is talking about. Con Edison does not make any money on the supply portion of the bill--never did! It is just to cost of energy to Con Edison that is passed on to the consumer. Actually, ESCOs can cost far more for the energy that Con Ed buys and for and then sells to the consumer. Con Ef makes it's money from delivery and there consumers do not have a choose. So, JDs plan does not hit Con Ed in the wallet and coule cost his coworkers, friends and relatives more money for the energy needs.

Jul. 23 2012 06:15 PM


Jul. 14 2012 11:37 AM

Quote from the great book BRING UP THE BODIES-Martel:

"Full bellies breed gentle manners. The pinch of famine makes monsters."

Jul. 11 2012 02:16 AM
Ann from The bronx

I would like to know what the strike fund is being used for, if not for paying medical benefit for their union members like other unions do during a strikes?

Jul. 10 2012 10:37 PM

This is a load of crock con ed think about the amount of people you are hurting because you are being greedy stop the Sh**

Jul. 10 2012 04:16 PM

I've been w/Con Ed for 37 years. Some hell of a way to start my 38th. We need to get back to work. I'd like to retire w/the pension I hope I can count on. Do your best Harry.

Jul. 10 2012 03:13 PM
Richard from Westchester

Here's the bad news about pensions. 20 years ago about 90% of the workforce were covered under a pension plan. Now, only about 10% are. The falling stock market and tighter accounting rules made them unaffordable for most companies. My own company froze our pension plan last year and moved everyone into a 401K plan with a company match for whatever you kicked in. Any benefits you earned under the pension plan you kept but what you earned going forward went into the 401k plan.

Con Ed's cost to distribute power is about double the national average. Just saying.

Jul. 10 2012 12:22 PM
Gerardo Giannattasio Jr. from East Meadow Ny

I just got a breakdown of my check and it seems totally illegal how they recovered 40 hrs. It can not be justified even if they claim that they gave me 40 hrs upfront when i was hired. That was at a much less rate of pay. I am putting an official complaint to the labor board. I have done that before at a different job and it gets results quick. I urge everyone to do your part. Picket, write letters, and file complaints where justified. We are professionals and we are not to be treated like low lives. Make noise and get attention. I have a family i feed and support as well as a mortgage i pay and now I'm selling my car and filing for welfare, unemployment, food stamps and medicare. I will fight as hard as i can because i deserve all benefits that i was promised when i accepted this job and will not accept the fact that i have to go back to a job that requires me to risk my life and work in burning holes while the rich folks sit on top and give themselves raises whenever they want. They seem to forget that this is not a privately owned company.( They most definitely don't own it.) We the stock holders publicly own it. How can they justify paying us unemployment as well as paying outside utility companies to perform our job, not to mention 5000 management employees while only 1000 of them can actually perform any work outside of an office. How can they justify this to the rate payer, us the stock holder and the public service commission. I will stay strong because this is evil, wrong and what i can Corporate greed. If we lay down and let them win, we will destroy this country, middle class and ultimately kill this economy.

Jul. 09 2012 06:00 PM
sean quinn from 3rd ave yard

Give 'em hell Harry! Don't give in. We'll stick it out!

Jul. 09 2012 05:41 PM

If you can can Call or Email Cuomo about why there is no intervention from the Governor, Starting today all locked out employees collect an unemployment check. That costs the NY State $3.5 million dollars a week & an additional $7million dollars in taxes that will not be deducted a week from our weekly paychecks. That is $10 million dollars a week of lost revenue for NY State. Gov Cuomo has not intervened like prior Governor Paterson did & stopped a lockout from happening on the exact same issues.

Governor Cuomo office by phone (518) 474-8390

Here is WHY .............

This is why Cuomo is quiet, his right hand man is on Con Ed's Board of Directors. Politics/Corruption as usual.

A Main Cuomo Adviser Runs A Low Profile
Del Giudice Was Mario Cuomo's Chief

Michael Del Giudice's name does not appear in the list of dozens of people whom Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed to his transition committee. And Mr. Cuomo rarely mentions him in public comments.
But aides to the governor-elect say Mr. Del Giudice is one of the few people in Albany whom Mr. Cuomo regularly turns to for advice on running state government. In fact, the 67-year-old Mr. Del Giudice has been serving such a role all the way back to the first Cuomo administration.
"eping a low profile, Mr. Del Giudice is a widely admired and deeply connected figure in state politics. He has built a lucrative career within the overlapping arenas of business and government.
On top of his day job—managing private-equity funds that invest in power projects as chairman of Rockland Capital, which he founded—Mr. Del Giudice also serves on the boards of Con-Ed, which is regulated by the state Public Service Commission, and the New York Racing Association. He just completed an 11-year stint on the board ofBarnes & Noble, BKS -6.36% which is headed by a major Cuomo donor, Leonard Riggio.
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said Mr. Del Giudice has signed a conflict-of-interest agreement and does not advise the governor-elect on energy and horse-racing matters that could conflict with his responsibilities at Con-Ed and NYRA.
Mr. Del Giudice did not respond to requests for comment.

Jul. 09 2012 04:31 PM
JD from brooklyn

All 8,500 of us along with our families and friends in the Con Ed area, should switch to an Esco for our electric and or gas "delivery" depending on where we live. The pocket book is the only thing they understand. Con Ed will still deliver your energy and respond to emergencies, but you will save money and they will collect less of it.

Jul. 09 2012 03:34 PM
no one special from not at work.

So I'm not to be paid for my final week of work.Paycheck has negative amount and states "recovery of hours". So if I ever get back to work I guess I shouldn't do my job anymore.When I'm asked why I should say "recovery of services rendered."

Jul. 09 2012 03:32 PM
JSP from Park Slope

What is so bizarre about this story is what is not being reported. ConEdison doesn't care about even its own management and contractor employees who are working in this sweltering heat.

Make no mistake, they are playing one group of people against another and the whole time they are blaming others for their own blunders.

They let the lights go out in Long Island City...for days on end. They will do it again, but blame it on the union.

Please don't let them do that. FIRE KEVIN BURKE.

Jul. 09 2012 03:05 PM
Mikey from PICKETLINES 2012!

I work for Con Ed (aka) Greedy Burke and its Bs that they would just cancell our medical but to hold our pay checks back also, what gives them the right to do that? I did not agree to work for free.Where did all my hrs go , hard work and late nights go for that week.That is the most disrespectful and ungreatful thing to do when you know our families depend on our income every week.Burke just spit right in our families face and smiled while he did it.We have sick family members as per our own health that need medication.But we should give up being with our family on holidyas , have to work in every type of storm that comes , heat waves and thats ok while Burke and all his top CLOWNS are home with their families. Then to try and take our raises away but he can approve 20% for him and his clowns. Really.." Hey Burke LOCAL 1-2 Keeps the lights on , gas flowing and steam pumping, NOT YOU AND YOUR CLOWNS! [[WHAT EVER IT TAKES]]!

Jul. 09 2012 02:13 PM
Dee from New York

Wrote to Governor Cuomo for help like Governor Patterson helped us in 2008, no reply. He talks a good game about fairness but he is full of it. Don't vote for this guy come election day.

Jul. 09 2012 01:07 PM

corporate greed..... while union members starve and have no benefits... corporate probably spent the weekend in the Hampton's...... taking away benefits from the men and women who work hard to keep the electric running so that the the CEO's who make many millions can continue the high end lifestyle into retirement get 2% raises each year while yhey want to give the men and women who bleed for the tmen a 1 1/2 % raise over four years... Thanks for all the hard work...long hours.... missed holidays and school functions for what!? To be told by Vice President... "this is not a family.... this is a business"..... well thanks for caring Mary Adamo.. Union is asking for nothing but to keep things the same but no...... its pretty sad to see this country so greedy and top heavy..... things topple.....

Jul. 09 2012 12:34 PM

My husband has been with con Ed for 24 years and it is unbelievable how the company feels about its work force. All the preach is safety and this past week they didn't feel that way.there managers are not doing the work they have contractors from other unions doing the work which is disgraceful they should be ashamed of themselves for going against another union.union workers are supposed to stick together.When there are called back to work are the suppose to be happy working for a greed filled company and treating workers the way they did

Jul. 09 2012 12:28 PM
Mob from New York

burke has proven he does not care about anyone but himself and his fellow board members .Fact he is risking the health and safety of his management who have not worked in the field for years. Look at the amount of accidents along with one poor guy having a heart attack. He locks out his entire Union workforce after Con Ed spending millions over the years promoting teamwork with management and union with the team award programme. Then he cuts all medical benefits for the union families, what is he hoping for there?. Now what I feel makes America great is that with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work everyone has a chance to make it big but what I feel is destroying this great nation is those few that have made it to the top are going out of their way to take not only the chance but also the livelihood from those hardworking families who are trying to improve their situation.

Jul. 09 2012 11:52 AM
frank from brooklyn

Well let see coned make 4.2 billion buck in profit and 13b in revenues. They still take stimulus money.
Unlike the auto or airlines industry, they have permanent customers. Union greed someone post how bout this. CEO and top exec already secured their benefit in the millions 10 million or more plus another in case he got forced out. Now, the unions workers are always available 24hrs a day.. holiday, rain, snow storm or hurricanes we are here. SO WHY SHOULDNT WE DESERVE WHAT WE WORK FOR?? AS someone say google coned video from cramer. He wilk tell you himself

Jul. 09 2012 11:37 AM

i work for the company and trust me its not the union,,, it is con ed itself....they arent even paying me the days i busted my rearend...they are holdiong the money i deserve to get..when i put my sweat into this company..its coned greed

Jul. 09 2012 09:20 AM
Carol Tassone from ny

union creed..enough

Jul. 09 2012 12:01 AM

Please look at the CNBC Cramer show with Kevin Berk its call coned CEO on natural gas it was last month and after you see it you tell me if this is not greed

Jul. 08 2012 10:11 PM

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