Con Edison and Union Workers Make No Headway

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Union workers at power company Con Edison picket outside company headquarters. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Consolidated Edison Inc. and the union representing its employees ended talks Tuesday with little indication that the two sides were any closer to a resolution. They are expected to resume talks Wednesday morning.

In a news release, Con Edison said it's offering wage increases of more than 10 percent, over the next four years, to employees it locked out of their jobs ten days ago. The utility also said it'll hold the line on employee contributions to health care, for the first year of the new contract.

But the union isn't buying it. John Melia, with Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America, accused the utility of lying to the public, the media, and its employees....but refused to elaborate on what, exactly, Con Ed offered to the union at the bargaining table.

Negotiations between the power company and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America have been going on for weeks. Talks resumed Tuesday afternoon, after taking a break over the weekend.

The contract for the union's 8,500 members expired at midnight on June 30 and the company locked out the workers on July 1.

Con Edison has more than 3 million customers and has been using managers in the field in place of the union members.

Janet Babin and the Associated Press contributed reporting.


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Comments [12]

Dennis from The Real World

Mr/Ms Amazed NY
5 years max pay hogwash.
Edison gets the cream of the crop. (I guess that's why your not working for them).
Most of the people they hire are overqualified. I know this for a fact, a technicians title requires 2 years tech. training but most of the new techs. have 4 yr. Engineering degrees. The entrance exams are quite rigorous also.

M/M Amazed, you amaze or should I say amuse me with your lack of knowledge
regarding the skill set of a union utility worker. Have you ever worked in a confined space or generating station? I think not, before you comment on
my union brothers you should give it a shoot. And insulting their mentality
just by reading your statements, I would rather associate with these people
than the likes of you any day. As for the pride they take in their work
I can vouch that they meet &/or exceed any tradesmen in their field.

Jul. 14 2012 05:01 PM
Amazed from New York, Ny

The union’s position is that all employees should be at max pay in 5 years, where does anyone work that they pay you top dollar with only 5 years of experience? Oh and all that training and education that they claim to have to do their jobs where do you think they get that? From the company, free of charge, these are highly trained individuals yes but at the expense of the company, not a dime out of their pockets. Then you want to complain about the cost of your bill, keep supporting the poor union folks. Times are tough out there and I know many highly educated people who would love to be making what all these “poor” union workers are turning their noses up at. The problem with unions is that it breeds a sense of entitlement, stay with the company as long as you can and contribute little and you will get the same as the guy who works hard and gets the job done, doesn’t seem fair to me. Most of them have no pride in performing a fair days work for a fair wage, they just want everything handed to them, sorry life doesn’t work that way. I have an idea, why don’t they pay each worker based on how productive they are, wait that is in direct contrast to the union worker’s mentality.

Jul. 14 2012 04:04 PM

If you can can Call or Email Cuomo about why there is no intervention from the Governor, Staring today I & 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.-elect 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.
"Mike is one of the true wise men of state government who provides invaluable advice and insight to the Governor-elect," Benjamin Lawsky, a top aide to Mr. Cuomo, said via email. "His decades of experience combined with his youthful vigor make him not only a sage advisor to Andrew but also a mentor and friend to many of us."
Even while keeping 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.

Jul. 11 2012 10:30 AM

Governor Cuomo office by phone (518) 474-8390

ask the Gov why he is not as active as ex Governor Paterson in preventing a lockout. Con ed lock us out that means UNion Workers started collecting as of Monday July 9th . That is millions in state dollars each week. Again the Union /weekly budget accounts only 5% of Edison's bill. read below ......

Con Edison has locked out its Union Employees that will cost the State $4 million a week in Unemployment benefits. Governor Paterson intevened last time in 2008 & prevented it. It is going to be one of the hottest summers & the fate of the NYC is in the hands of inexperienced Management people who have never cut or spliced cable in their lives & no experience for Gas or Steam Leaks like the one in Times Square. Ask them to prove they have experienced employees & not just bodies & Playing poker with NYC.

The weekly employee (Union workers) Make up only 5% of the Con Edison BILL The other 95% goes to taxes , fuel costs , materials & Mangement salaries & bonuses. Edison stock went up 50% this year. Why are they being so hard on the Union . Times are good & Profitable at Edison. CEO Burke got a $15 million dollar bonus this year & a $17 million pension package.The Board of Directors got a 20% raise. In the sprit of good faith share with the Union that only makes up 5% of the Budget with a fraction what the CEO is providing for himself .

Help stop the Insanity & keep the Lights on..............

Jul. 11 2012 10:26 AM
INCOGNITO from Bklyn

Bob layoffs sounds good, there are 5,000 managment personal that last week couldn't deal with the union work, 3 supervisors hurt, they had to bring scabs from Virginia and Alabama to prevent the system from going down. The problem in this country is NOT the 99%, is the 1% . Coned CEO, 11 millions in compensation, 18 millions pension and a clause on his contract, if he sells the company he goes out the door with 31 millions, Consolidated Edison Inc.(ED)-NYSE 62.56, the highest ever, something is not right here, HELLOOO..... KEVIN BURKE IS A CORPORATE GANGSTER

Jul. 11 2012 10:21 AM
Petuna from Brooklyn, NY

There have been electrical fires that haven't been reported, a neighbor of mine had his house burnt because a call it took Con Edison an hour to get there, then they took the burnt wire with them....hmmmm.....

The temporary help they have can only be in so many places at a time and I am sure Manhattan is a priority but it also has 4 other boroughs to contend with, I can see a lot of law suits down the pike. Will come out of the workers hide I am sure.

Jul. 11 2012 10:18 AM

Companies, no matter how big or small, have to change to survive. This is the change Con Ed is seeking. They changed management benefits years ago, now it's time to adjust union benefits. The rank and file needs to realize if the cost of benefits doesn't go down then there will be layoffs.

Jul. 11 2012 09:28 AM
Dennis from Brooklyn

Gotham City, a.k.a. The Big Apple is rotting away. The great People are in dire straights and need your help. Mayor DOOMBERG & Governor SLOMO is out to get the masses. They are placing this great Metropolis in grave danger.

They are allowing the Corporate Evil Giant CONN-ED total control over the electrical supply system to this great city. The Board Of Dictator's lead by Mr. Kevin JERK & his evil kick in the side Mr. Poison IVEY have LOCKOUT & Demoralized the rank & file WORKERS. Along with the other evil members of Board of Dictators they are threatening the security of the POWER system to The Metropolitan Area for their GREED & CONTROL.

These evil mongols are placing The GOOD PEOPLE in the Greater Metropolitan area in a time warp.A power failure will place us somewhere in the early 18 Century. No cell phones, TV's, security systems, A/C, elevators, mass transit (no trains or street lights or signals), hospital sevices, the list goes on and on.

Is this fair hold this great city in fear!!!!

So CONN-ed you have the masses under your evil threat. Maybe a complete system outage wouldn't happen but the NEWS are reporting various outages in this region. Is this how you plan to rule the Metro Area.

Shame on you all. What rock will you hide under then? If a failures occur.

Do these Board Of Dictator's have any conscience?

What happens to the sick & infirmed? The people who placed you in office. Total disrespect and arrogance for these fine citizens. Remember want goes up must come down. Get ready when election time comes Mr. Slomo & ALL you crocked politians, fail the people they will not forget.

The good stock holders of Consolidated Edison beware you have a bunch of BABOON'S
running your company. MR. KEVIN JERK should be eliminated from power. An investigation
by the PSC should be performed. CON ED made record earnings last year. The Board
of Dictator's got a 20% raise, Mr Jerk made 10 million cash. But they LOCKOUT the good
hard working union people. ZLockout: no wages & no medical coverage for 8500 families
how disgraceful.

Where is the justice?? Wake up GOTHAM your great city is going DOWN.


Jul. 11 2012 09:19 AM
AURELIO MOSCOVA from 4 Irving Place

I wrote an e-mail to Dominic Marzullo about the picket duty, that I understand that since we have been locked out, I did not have to go. He never replied.

Jul. 11 2012 09:05 AM

@ O. Say what you want about con Ed personnel but I'm almost sure that you also haven't lost power much while living in the city either with the exception Of the 2003 blackout... Another question I have for you is Do you even know what it is that Local 1-2 employees do on a day to day basis? Did you know that wether its 100 degrees or below 10 they still have to work in it to ensure that you have reliable power? I bet you also didn't know that people DIE doing what they do. Utility workers put their lives on the line everyday just so you don't have to help your kids do their homework in the dark. For you to THINK YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS THEY SHOULD BE PAID IS NOT ONLY ABSURD, BUT IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO ANYONE WHO HAS LOST THEIR LIFE OR BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB. The Requirement may only be a high school diploma, but I am
Certain you would get killed trying to do their job because of your lack of experience. I would love to know what you do for a living seeing how you're such a good judge of how much people skills and services are worth...

Jul. 11 2012 06:56 AM

Since the union has been locked out, I haven't seen any Con Ed employees sleeping in their trucks like I usually do. A high school education doesn't warrant $130K per year (with overtime) in many other companies.

Jul. 10 2012 09:00 PM

The bottom line is the company has planned the lockout from the beginning with MAXIMO (payroll input)that just happened to be down June 30th/July 1st, locking the membership out 2 hours after the contract expired and 3 days later on Wednesday July 4th canceling our benefits (not sure has this translates in to "fair negotiation" practices). Brian Lehrers' excellent program this morning highlighted some keys points of the current situation with Con Ed and what's going on throughout the country and as I explained to Cynthia Rodriguez last Sunday in front of 4 Irving Place my wife isn't well, needs bi-weekly blood transfusions and Con Ed has specifically gone out of their way to see that harm comes to the Union workers. Kevin Burke and Craig Ivey want to fundamentally change Con Ed overnight (for financial gains of course).

Jul. 10 2012 01:43 PM

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