Con Ed, Union Strike Deal to End Lockout

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York City utility Consolidated Edison and its union are agreeing to end a lockout and labor conflict.

Cuomo announced the deal Thursday afternoon, hours after crews began returning to work in advance of potentially severe storms racing to New York that threatened power outages.

At the urging of Cuomo the state's Public Service Commission convened a meeting with Consolidated Edison and the union representing its workers to try and end the three week lockout. Cuomo said the lockout had gone on "long enough." The threat of severe weather later Thursday added a sense of urgency to the meeting.

"Con Ed and Local 1-2 have agreed that the necessary personnel will immediately return to work to prepare for the possibility of an approaching storm and will remain on the job for the duration of any emergency and any following repairs," Cuomo said in a statement.

The governor said Con Ed and Local 1-2 will continue to work to reach a full contract agreement.

The Con Ed workers were locked out after their contract expired and negotiations over a new one failed. About 5,000 managers are keeping electricity going for 3.2 million customers in New York City and Westchester County.


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Comments [17]

Robert J. Anderson

I believe it true that Burke and Michael J. Del Giudice ( Cuomo's closest advisor and ConEd Board member) carefully plotted and planned this lockout and Cuomo had tacitly approved it prior to the contract deadline.
This is how the 1% operate to dominate our country , they have no regard for America or it's people who are not in the 1%.
This unfortunate arrangement will continue unabated until the 99% take back the political initiative and power from the 1% .
One of the greatest vehicles to do so is Organized Labor , the same Organized Labor that created the middle class in America during the last half of the 20th century . Our fathers and mothers knew this and urged us to join Unions for Security and Decent wages and a better life .
However, it has slowly become unpopular tn America for the middle class to have security , decent wages and a better life . Even teachers have become target because they have Unions and pensions ? Teachers , Utility workers , firemen , police , civil servants all demonized by the Corporate controlled press .
When we face the fact that the majority of Americans are not active voters and critiical thinkers then we know how our government and country has been bought by the rich 1% .
I urge everyone to get involved , organize , unionize and Vote for those that support us the 99% and against the politicians that care only for their rich masters.

Jul. 28 2012 06:38 PM
Joe Nazaro

Thank you Gov. Cuomo for getting involved. Once again the greed of a union risked putting public interest aside. When are unions going to realize that they are no more qualified to do a job or do not represent "the working man" any more than any others. Shame on the union, and kudos to Gov. Cuomo.

Jul. 26 2012 01:17 PM
Mary from Westchester

Mr. Cuomo, You have conveniently forgotten who helped get you elected. Your job is to serve the best interests of the people of the State of NY not just the shareholders and board of directors of ConEd. You make great speeches promising to help the middle class and poor and have not delivered. If you want to do some good, than help the employees and there families survive in this state. How can they possible hope to live if you freeze there wages, increase the cost of medical insurance and elliminate there pension. You are effectively telling us all that you only serve the rich and the hell with working class. I would use the term middle class, But I no longer believe it exists. "We are the new working poor" we live from pay check to pay check with no hope of retiring.

Jul. 26 2012 12:04 PM
Dennis Scurto from In Solidarity

Mr Anderson is correct. The media has been bought-off, no coverage of the UWUA Local 1-2 rallies and support of other Unions together in Solidarity. Our Unions are only asking for a fair share of the pie. The corrupt powerful unions of the past are long gone. The Unions of today basically defend human rights, benefits, fair wages and pensions.

It is a tough battle to overcome this fight. We must ban together to eradicate this evil plague afflicted by these Corporate moguls. Disgraceful. Corporate greed is destroying this great country. Politicians and the media all being controlled by the almighty dollar. They should be supporting us. We the people who elected them & purchase their newspapers, watch the TV shows and listen to their broadcast.
Fellow citizens we must flush our society of this garbage. Dispose of these
Corporate Gangsters that are killing the American Dream for their Greed & Control. Hard working people of this great country voice your opinion stand together to eradicate this menace Corporate Greed from our society.

Jul. 26 2012 11:54 AM
michael jones from westchester

Gov.Cuomo received the backing of unions all over N.Y. state. He should stand up for union workers in their time of need. It seems like politicians forget all about the people that helped them get where they are.

Jul. 26 2012 11:13 AM
alex from brooklyn

Coned skilled UNION workers built this grid for the past 7 decades, thats why the system is holding up so well through these tough times. It will only take a short time for the scabs and unskilled management to break it down...Just hope no union brother's or sister's gets hurt when we return to fix the bandages they have installed....

Jul. 26 2012 10:18 AM
Joe DeBest from New York

From an eariler WNYC News Blog. " .... Consolidated Edison is defending the way it has handled the lock of out more than 8,000 workers to a state regulator.... the utility said it had no choice but to lock out the workers after the union said it would not give 72-hours notice before striking so the utility could provide its customers uninterrupted service as contract talks expired."
Hmmmmm... makes you want to think, did the company already have an agenda 72 or more hours in advance of locking out its workers BEFORE the contract expired.
Also, if it wasn't a problem to implement, as Con Edison put it a, "contingency plan " @ 1:30am on July 1st. why should it be a problem any other time. They didn't seem too concerned at that time for John Q Public when they sent workers home and locked the doors. Its just another way of them trying to take the dominate postion during discussions intended to produce an agreement, and that it just baised and unfair negotiating.
As for the the Governor, he wants to hold the union workers accountable. I guess the apple doean't fall far from the tree when it comes to assiting big business.

Jul. 26 2012 09:27 AM

I was at at location watching how these out of town scab workers were working on the electric wires. And If a Coned crew was to work in the same manner in which they were working they wouuld have been written up. for the unsafe they had managerment who knew nothing about the proper procedure on how the job was to be done.He was going by a book they company gave him.When question about it he said he would lokk it up but just stood around not blaming him because this was not the job he normally preformed this can go on on on. AS THEY SAY A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS> Does the public know that his board recieved a 20% increase and that CEO BUrKE makes 11 million+ a year. THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WORK OUT IN THE FIELD ARE WHAT KEEPS THINGS GOING RAIN SHINE AND ALL OTHER TYPES OF WEATHER IF ITS AND ELETRIC OUTAGE OR AND GAS EMERGENCY THE CONED FIELD EMPLOYEES ARE THE FIRST ONE THERE. I HAVE IN ALL Y YEARS SEEN UPPER MANAGERMENT IN THE FIELD BE FORE A FIELD CREW .

Jul. 26 2012 07:23 AM
george wendt from The Long Island Sound

The last stand for a labor Union. It's a huge victory to destroy a way of life that Americans have fought for over 7 decades. Our ranks are filled with Veterans. CEO Kevin Burke and Craig Ivey never having served our nation now find it nessassary to undermine the middle class. Sad pathetic display of the capriciousness of those that never had to save a fellow soldier nor be saved. They don't hold the American flag high. They use it to wrap around the arms of justice binding it's balance in their favor.

Jul. 26 2012 06:55 AM

Con Ed is so proud of the fact the system is holding up with the efforts of 5,000 managers plus the scabs brought in. However what they fail to tell you is that the managers since July 1, have been working 12 hours shifts, 6 days a week, and can be mandated up to 16 hours depending on the scenario such as a heat wave. Being that the managers are human and not robots as Con Ed would like us (Mangers/Union) all to be, how much longer do you think they can keep this up before someone falls asleep at the wheel, and this whole situation take a nose dive off a steep cliff??? And for what??? Because a company that is making lots of money (not losing $)wants to strip the workers of their future security blanket by taking away our pension. Con Ed has no rational behind this, they are not even trying to pretend to have one. They simply want to bully the members of Local 1-2 to conform with the new "business model", I'm of the mind if it's not broke, don't fix it. Keep your dirty filthy hands off our pension money. Oh yeah... And if the Con Ed Staten Island Union heads had any balls they would have their members walk off the job break that contract and fight to get those Con Ed employees their pension.

Jul. 26 2012 02:58 AM

It's because the Soviet Union is gone. Now the capitalists know there is no worry of driving workers to communism. There is no alternative. Even in the EU Germany is doing its best to dismantle the welfare state now that the Soviet threat is gone. Look at when America had it's highest standard of living...height of the cold war. They wanted everyone to have houses, cars, electronics all to show how much better capitalism was than communism. Well now that the cold war is over they're talking it all back, starting with your houses but the rest will follow in the coming decades.

Jul. 26 2012 01:09 AM
William campbell from Long Island N Y

When the Unions came into being, the were to protect Americian workers from the Blind greed and ruthlesness of the worst Tyrants the Industrial Revolution could breed.
All the benefits we take for granted , were wrestled from the Rockafellas, Duponts, at a cost in real blood, and human suffering todays society cant imagine.
Todays corporate Tyrants are trying to throw out the basic needs and rights , that over 100 years of Organised Labor and Industry have worked hand in glove with.
The recently Financial debacle streamlined Americian Industry, made it more profitable than it has been in decades, this Union increased productivity as called for in past contracts.Without question ConEd stands as the Finest Utility in Americia, largely through the unparraled quality of its Dedicated and trained Union labor force.
With total disregard for we, that dedicated tool, has been locked out in an blatent attempt to throw all that Organisized Labor brought into the bright light of day.To show themselves as the Greedy Souless Vampires they truely are.
Only with Unbiased Media , Political leaders who know the value of remembring the Past and the Epic battles fought there, before we have to repeat those black and terrible days again.

Jul. 26 2012 12:54 AM

It's about time Cuomo gets involved!! it seems to me that it was ConEd who Locked out their union labores and put in unqualified workers to fill in for the quaified union workers!! With that in mind why would Cuomo hold the union responsible if anything serious goes wrong??? It is solely the responsibility of ConEd if anything goes wrong, not the union!!!

Jul. 26 2012 12:34 AM
Deeman from USA

It's about time Cuomo get's off his paid off butt and get's involved.
He has waited much too long. My union brothers have been demoralized long enough. Union's must ban together to over come this class action by these corporate "gangsters", Con Ed being a major player. This plague by the Corporate 1% must be stopped now before infects our country.

Jul. 25 2012 11:22 PM
Jack Local 1-2

Better late then never
It’s no wonder it took four weeks for him to get into fray.
A Democratic Governor-who’s Dad (and obviously him) forgot where they came from... (look to nine weeks in-1983)
And to state "hold both Con Ed & the Union culpable"-
When the Company "LOCKED OUT" 8500 workers at 2 am in the moring with zero warning
What do we expect
When we have a mercenary for a CEO-
A "Silver Spoon" Mayor-
Note- no matter what....the Mayors buddy...
Kevin Burke, the board chairman and CEO, raked in $1,118,550 in salary last year, up from $1,107,200 in 2009, according to shareholder statements filed in May 2012.
But he also pulled down an electrifying $9.2 million in benefits, bonuses, stock awards and the ballooning value of his pension last year, up from $6.8 million in 2009. That's in addition to $6.5 million in company stock options he cashed in last year
Semper Fi'

Jul. 25 2012 08:44 PM
Robert J. Anderson

I believe that all of New York's major media have been bought off by CoNEd and the 1% agenda . For three weeks in a row starting July 3rd and again yesterday there have been major rallies of 3,000 + people from all of New YorK's Unions at Union Square . However the major networks did not cover these rallies ? Is it because the media moguls want to marginalize the Unions ? I believe so , it is sad that our country has been taken over a by corporate greed .
However their is HOPE , his name is Obama and the democratic party . Union members REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER ,

Jul. 25 2012 07:09 PM
jason zenith from nyc

Cuomo is now forced by media pressure (the NY Times just had a column portraying him as disingenuous for pretending to be powerless to intervene when he controls the Public Service Commission, which oversees ConEd) to intervene.
I'm quite disgusted that WNYC news has blacked out the fact that ConEd has been using scabs imported from Southern utilities to replace the locked out workers. WNYC only ever mentions that "managers" are doing the work. This is deceptive and WNYC should stop covering up for ConEd.

Jul. 25 2012 06:09 PM

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