Unionized Con Ed workers plan protests during lockout
Con Edison workers locked out of their jobs during a contract dispute Sunday planned to start protesting at Con Ed locations throughout the city early Tuesday morning, union officials said.
Con Ed had about 5,000 managers filling in Sunday for more than 8,000 unionized employees that were locked out of work earlier in the day, both sides said Sunday, just hours after their contract had expired.
Sources at Con Ed and the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, which represents 8,000 employees, said the two sides were still far apart on a new contract, and were uncertain when they would resume discussions. They said there were disagreements over a new pension plan and health care coverage policy.
Con Ed said they had asked the union to sign a two-week contract extension before the lockout, which the union blasted as an effort at "union busting."
"It's our belief that they're putting the public in danger with their arrogant, reprehensible actions," said John Melia, a union spokesman.
"We are not on strike," Melia said. "The company kicked us out."
The contract breakdown came during a heat wave in New York City, though Con Ed said there were relatively few power problems throughout the day Sunday. About 100 people were without power as of press time.