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This was our fourth show on the Con Edison contract dispute and we still had every line ringing. No matter what side of the issue our viewers were on, many just wanted a resolution and have workers be able to get back on the job. More of your thoughts posted below.
Con Edison and the union representing its employees are back at the negotiating table today, and the utility says it has a new, four-year contract proposal for the Local 1-2. Con Ed officials are offering wage increases of more than ten percent over four years, with further increases for workers who have not reached the maximum pay rate for their job titles. The utility says it is willing to maintain current pension benefits for all employees hired before July 1, 2012. And, it will keep employee contributions to the health care plan at the current rate for the first year of the contract, growing by nearly ten percent by the fourth year. Con Ed also says it will increase its employer contribution to 401k plans.
The union doesn’t seem too optimistic. It says there have been a number of proposals since negotiations began and this is just the latest one. Local 1-2 Spokesman John Melia called it “outrageous” that Con Ed “would seek to negotiate in the public square.”
The four-year contract for the union’s 8,500 workers expired at midnight on June 30. The utility then locked out workers after the union refused to agree to a provide a week’s warning before staging a strike. Since then, 5,000 Con Ed managers have been handling operations. Negotiations have been on and off for weeks, with the sticking points being Con Ed’s efforts to cut health benefits and cancel pensions in favor of 401k plans for new hires.
Do the terms of Con Ed’s proposal seem fair to you? How long do you think talks will continue? Do you think either side should budge at this point? Is it time for workers to get back to their jobs? Are you worried about the safety of Con Ed managers and customers?
Respond with your thoughts using the link above.
Con Ed is bullying its union members. Cuomo and Christine Quinn should support union. It's sickening that they are ignoring the whole thing!
Con Edison is a highly profitable company, and it should negotiate a fair contract with good benefits for both its new and seasoned workers, but like all companies they want to maximize their profits by cutting benefits and asking their new hires to risk their future with a 401k plan.
The only way these problems will be solved is to subject Con Ed to the competition of the free market, i.e. bust up their monopoly of electricity in the City. Equally as important, the monopoly unions have on work at Con Ed must also be busted up.
go back to work it is a good deal
I don’t really get what they want. But this is getting to be more and more of a serious threat to us Con-Ed customers. Also is this suppose to be a four year contract. If it is how long will they contribute to their 401K plans. Again I ask where are the politicians? They should make themselves visible for this most important problem at this present time. They all seem to be off on other projects that could easily be put on a back burner until this is resolved.
As the wife of a Local 1-2 utility worker, I want to let the public know that as of July 3rd, Con Ed cut off the health coverage of it's 8,500 union employees and their families. So, if the union workers went on strike they would have been scrutinized by the public, public officials, and Kevin Burke ( CEO of Con Ed). The union workers would have been looked at as heartless and not caring for their community. However, they didn't go on strike and instead were locked out of their jobs and now have no health insurance for themselves or their families! This is a dangerous and cruel tatic that is being done. This is an absolute outrage and the public needs to be made aware. Also, Bloomberg and Cuomo have not been proactive in this situation at all. Four years ago Gov. Patterson stepped in during negotiations and helped in making a peacefull agreement. Clearly we are not seeing that now!These are their workers, their New Yorkers! How do we not take care of our own! I only hope for a peacefull resolution and pray these workers can return to thei jobs and the families regain piece of mind.
Time to get bak to work? I have been told since i was a little kid dont believe everything you hear or read. People have given their sweat and their blood to this company and every4 years they lose something. The time has come to confront the lying rich and the lying politicians. You call it "fundraisers" I call it bribery. Wake up people there is no more middle class. We want whats due to U.S.
Do I believe the contract that's in the media is the real contract? Hell No, We need to read all pages and vote on it
Do the terms of Con Ed’s proposal seem fair to you?
The proposal that was put out to the media is misleading and we have seen Con Ed use the media to get the public on their side many times before. I don't believe Con Ed for one minute. Let me hear the Unions side to what is really in that contract proposal. Remember, there's 3 sides to every story.
How long do you think talks will continue?
I hope these 2 sides come to an agreement quickly. Why should tax payers pay for 8,500 men and women be on unemployment? Why should cops spend days overseeing the picket lines? Why should we the people have to pay for these guys to receive food stamps and financial aid when CON ED should pay them to get back to work. In addition we pay our high con ed bills too, let CON ED pay them, not me!!
Do you think either side should budge at this point?
I have seen the CONED stock soar over the past 4 years, so yes, CON ED should budge and just keep paying their workers the same as the last contract. The union said clearly that they want to extend the current contract for 4 years, I thought that was fair. The company want them to make less? I don't get it. If the company is doing so well, (as per the CONED CEO twice on MAD MONEY) then just appreciate what they do and continue to run a profitable American company. By treating them like this we see the true colors of your slogans my favorite is GOING GREEN cha ching! when it comes to GOING GREEN your ON IT!
Is it time for workers to get back to their jobs?
Yes, jobs are needed in this country and they had one.
Are you worried about the safety of Con Ed managers and customers?
Of course I'm worried. The managers are being forced to do this work with a lot of pressure put on them. Stress and long 12 hour days can be a distraction and Safety can be easily overlooked. Its not worth it. i heard one guys face was burnt really bad, thats terrible.
Concerned New Yorker
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
Where is the justice?? Wake up GOTHAM your great city is going DOWN.
BATMAN & ROBIN WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU?????
From my little knowledge of the FULL facts I believe the workers should strike a deal because it's will be difficult to do any better in the current US and global economic situation.
What nobody realizes is that all these contract agreements fall back on the consumer. We wind up paying, and our rates are ridiculous already. How much can you really charge for a kilowatt. Also, has anyone checked up on how these workers actually work. Between con ed and the verizon workers , these men should be ashamed of themselves. They all want to do the least amount of work for the most amount of money.
This is the reason why prices are out of control..
As a member of a different union, I feel that if an offer was presented, the workers of Con Edison should be given the opportunity to vote on this new proposal not the heads of the union who are still getting paid!
Con Ed is using smoke and mirrors with their most recent "generous" offer released to the public. They indeed are trying to break up the union and are forcing New Yorkers to live in constant worry in regard to eleltrical, gas, and steam problems. Everyone please remember THEY locked US out without any regard to the public's safety.
My husband is a hard working member of the Local 1-2 Union, we have two children ages 3 1/2 and 10 months old, due to this unnecessary lockout by Con Edison we lost our only income and our medical benefits were cut off as of 6/30/12. All anyone seems to care about is if they are going to get air conditioning during the many heat waves we have had so far. No one understands what these guys are fighting for, Con-Ed is trying to take way pensions, reduce wages and increase medical coverage cost by double the amount that is being paid already. Most, if not all of these guys live pay check to pay check and have families to support, bills to pay while these rich CEO's and board members live comfortably in the lap of luxury with their private jets and there Hampton beach houses. Kevin Burke CEO of Con Edison is # 180 on Forbes top 500 for highest paid Execs he is paid $9.53 million a year with a 5 year of $24.8 million. He also has a $10 million dollar parachute with Con Edison . Also, Con Edison reported profits of just over $1 billion last year on nearly $13 billion in revenues, But the company can't afford to give the guys a decent raise with a fair contract. How dare anyone say the union is being greedy and all the financial information is just union propaganda to set people off, this is the age of Internet and computers, Bloomberg news and Forbes people! Read something for once!
Con-Ed sent out 5,000 managers who haven't worked on a live electrical pole, gas main or steam pipe in 10 years to replace the 8,500 highly qualified union workers who do their jobs on a daily basis and risk themselves to help and keep things flowing properly in NY! How many more people need to get hurt or even worse, die before the big wigs at Con-Ed realize they need to bring back the professionals?
A Local 1-2 Wife
This lockout is getting old now. We want to go back to work it is almost 2 weeks old.We don*t want to see any more people getting hurt doing our jobs.The last time we were out was 9 weeks in 83. Hopefully, somebody puts their ego aside and offers us a fair contract so we can go back to our jobs.We are union and proud of it!
I'm scared for my union with Melia sounding so angry & unreasonable. He wasn't even capable of listening. I can imagine him at the bargaining table.
Con Ed makes no mention of the defined benefit pension plan or whether they will keep that. They only mention contributing more to the 401 K Plan. I think the contract can be settled with minor or little give backs but the pension plan should not be touched. Every public and private employer has its employees contributing something for healthcare but 10% is a bit much. The negotiators for the union should really look at the benefits of the management and then compare.
Its union busting ,plain and simple, If a company can pay the CEO Burke almost 11 million and the company had a profit of over 1billion why can't they bargain in good faith, pensions included. This company is not suffering.
Con Ed is not a struggling corporation in any regard. The stocks are up & they are the largest utility company; right now the very men & women who work in hazardous & laborious conditions to serve us our power are brining in no money. What about these workers bills, families, and health? These men & women deserve compensation. Con Ed is the last company that can cry poverty, and if companies state wide are stating that because of rising costs they can not provide tax paying workers with the benefits they deserve then something is seriously wrong in the USA; everyday tax paying workers should not have to suffer for the corruptness of corporate greed.
I am a union worker for con Ed and I think our customers forget that we DO NOT get a discount on our bills.... We ourselves are con Edison customers. We work hard to provide the services that we do. The company makes more than enough money to give us our pensions, wages, and our health benefits. We provide the best service so why can't we be given what we want? I don't think we're asking for is unrealistic
Both ends are being run by greed. Not understanding that our own decisions affect us economically. Benefits will go up for everyone eventually. Complaining what the CEO makes helps no one. Build your own company and become president and CEO. Everyone who works pays medical insurance. Even making minimum wage you can not get free insurance. The pension should stay for current employees. There are workers making well over 100k yearly. On just overtime. They should do their research and see the changes that are already happening in corporate America by our president alone. They do the work knowing the danger of it, a choice they make. There are plenty of labor workers who put themselves in the same grave danger for less or no benefits. They need to get it together.
My husband works for coned (member of the local 1-2). I was just informed that the raise is just cents and the medical goes up by 26 thousand for the next four years. Looks good as John Melia said coming from "coned" as they will make you believe , but it's obviously not realistic.
without unions, corporate America would become one feudal state. There are many unscrupulous employers who would take a lot of advantage of the workforce if the unions didn't hold them accountable. It's easy to blame the unions because of their tarnished image, but not all of them are corrupt. I am a union member and I am glad that they exist. I do nonunion jobs on the side and it's difficult to keep negotiating and bargaining with people who want something for nothing. The unions prevent this from happening.
The fact that Con Ed made an announcement that they would not seek a rate increase on customers before 2014, when the current rates expire in 2013, because the were making more than enough money to keep running, negates any argument about rising costs. This announcement was made two months prior to the lockout. Con Ed is running a con on y'all, and blaming the union!!!!!
con Ed is wrong for how it treat it's workers it's the same thing that is happen at ups too they at a time where they are making more money an start to treat the worker more bad an they do all the hard work
I am a retired manager and haven't been in a union since I was a ramp rat for Eastern Airlines at Laguardia.
This is a good example of why we need public healthcare to make us competitive in the new "world market".
Producers in Japan, Germany, Italy, France, China, India, & Korea all have public health care systems.
The head of Chrysler-FIAT "gets it". US workers are the best in the world! A company is composed of stakeholders who include share owners, vendors, customers, and employees. Leaving out any of these for top executives to receive huge bonuses is counterproductive in the long run.
Con Ed management is being unreasonable and acting irresponsibly by locking out the other side. THEY are the ones who are not negotiating.
Maybe it's time to reconsider deregulation of utilities. My electric bill goes up every year. But we're supposed to let them generate over half our energy in antiquated coal-fired plants? And we're supposed to let them poison the air we breathe?
So, they poison their own customers, and mistreat their employees while they make record profits but we are not looking the other way this time
64 years old and retired
The supervisors are doing a fine job they should all get raises and the regular employee's should be fired
The Con Ed should hire all new employee's
Without a union that way No Union No Problem
I have been glass roofed at my job since 1990 and they aren't happy with with a clause that doesn't concern them (no pension for NEW HIRES)
I am the wife of a locked out Con Ed worker. I'm having a hard time trusting either side. Con Ed is a business who's main concern is their bottom line and their stockholders. Understandable. The union is a business as well who would not be in business if they didn't scare employees into thinking they needed them. All I am sure of is that we have been cut off from earning a living and having health insurance and the workers themselves have no control over either of them. Neither side have been giving the workers enough information to decide for themselves what's best. I have seen too many of our friends give up a lot more than what Con Ed is asking just to ensure they have a job in this economy, but many of the jobs at Con Ed are extremely dangerous and should be well compensated. I have written and called Governor Cuomo's office numerous times (even before the contract deadline) for help. Where the heck is he on this. If he was really "monitoring the situation" like his press releases state, he would see the urgency in his stepping in.
Remember, the only reason the power has been holding as well as it has been is because the employees of Con Edison are awesome. Let them get back to work and let the union and executives keep talking til their blue in the face. WE NEED A PAY CHECK AND HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!!
As a retired union member and a retired manager in a related field, I can appreciate both side of the issues in this case.
Very often the union and management will posture for the press and the public, this case is no different so how to separate fact from posturing?
Federal labor law forbids a company from dealing directly with the membership of a union, so the only information the union members have at their disposal is what is released by the union officers in the negotiations. These same laws do allow updating the public on “Formal Offers” made by either side. Last night Con Edison released to the press this latest formal offer. I suggest the union members demand to see the Unions counter proposal, have it released to the press. This should start the wheels grinding to a real resolution and get the members back at work. After all if you are sitting home not being paid you should know specifically and exactly what the status is of the issues at hand.
With current technologies and access to information- it’s time to give some sunlight to the Labor management negotiations in all industries.
I am a utility worker for local 1-2, Con Ed.
I have received text messages from my manager and several supervisors. All of the texts are supporting us and admitting that what the company is doing is wrong. One supervisor was very angry and emotional watching us picketing as he went in the gate on the 5th day of the lockout. He said in a text "you don't deserve this! you DO NOT deserve this! you guys are my family no matter what the company says" others I heard have taken a collection of the overtime money that they are getting to give back to us. The supervisors are admitting this is wrong.
This is proof that there are human beings that work hard and support one another like they should. This is also proof that CON ED has done wrong by its most important employees, Union members and frontline supervision that came up through the ranks.
Recently, CON ED has wrongly offered management REWARDS BENEFITS PACKAGE that was totally unfair to them. Unfortunately they have no union and no voice to speak us about their anger towards. The new REWARD was based on a survey that was a form of entrapment. They basically asked would you like to eat dog food or cat food? The company found a way to screw their management right before negotiations with the union so that it looks like its fair across the company. Nothing about what they did was fair!!! The company leaders are greedy and wrong.
Lets keep fighting,
Frontline supervisors have a voice, speak up !
We can help you and do it together, we have your back Thank you to the ones that have taken our side.
We Will Never Forget
The con is in on the public look at the fine print once the company gets 57% of its employees on 401k they can automatically change everyone who has a pension to a 401k so much for your pension .with employees retiring in the next few years that will happen in no time.
The raise lol is a joke .if you have to pay almost double for Med.
You will be lose what ever raise and have to dish out more money then before
I'm a member of Local 1-2 for over 37 years. I've been through many contracts, and a 9 week strike back in 1983. This is the first time I've ever seen Con Edison release any negotiating issues to the press prior to any agreement being approved by the union and it's members. It's plain and simple to me that Con Edison is trying to negotiate through the press and not at the bargaining table, where it should be. This contract isn't about wages, though wages is always a part of it. It's about a defined medical and pension benefit earned by it's workers over years of hard work and negotiations. I've dedicated most of my life working for Con Edison to provide for my family and know that when I retire I can afford to do so. For the most part Con Edison has done good by me, as I have for them. Don't stop that now!!!! Let us work and retire with dignity. You just gave the entire Board of Directors 20% raises, your company made over $1 Billion in revenues this past year. We're not asking for anymore, let us keep what we have. Remember, the Local 1-2 worker is part of the reason the company has prospered all these years. Give us some of the credit for that. Your stock is as high as it's ever been, around $62 for sometime now. Let both sides do this with dignity and get a deal done for everyone's sake.
As far as I'm aware there has been little or no progress made in the negoitations concerning the contract. Going form 14% raises in 4 years to 2% in 4 isn't good and no full pay for sick days is equally as bad. I'm not getting into the , "Kevin Burke makes 87 million a year so we should get something" debate, but finding out the company execuetives want to go out of there way to see harm come to the Union membership is unfortunate especially canceling our health benefits after being locked out for 3 days. Public talks will never see the light of day and the memberships hope may be up to federal binding arbitration.
Dark days are ahead.
I'm a wife of a Con Ed union worker, with almost 38 years of service. It is very disturbing to the moral of these dedicated hard working men & woman who will be the ones retiring in the next few years. They have been there fighting every contract to get to where they are and to know that it is all at stake is disgusting.
To know your company treated you so badly by locking you out was bad enough, but to hear they cancelled your health insurance, which you pay towards every week, without any warning, is appalling. How dare they treat their workers like this. They still haven't sent written notice about the cancellation of our insurance or information on how to get Cobra to continue our coverage. I thought this was against the health laws. Shouldn't we have had 30 days to get new insurance? No one seems to know the answer to this serious problem.
With all this in mind, why should we trust anything Con Ed says in the media?? We need to see the offers in writing, and the union has to present it to it's workers to vote on it.
I'm sure like my husband the workers are anxious to get back to work, they have loss almost 2 weeks of wages, which will never be recouped. The small amount of unemployment insurance will never cover their mortgages, health benefits, utilities, etc., so of course they want to go back to work. But it should be with a decent contract offer that they can live with.
If you can pay Kevin Burke, the CEO of Con Edison over 10 million dollars a year & a very lucrative pension, why can't you pay the workers who keep the lights on in NY a fair salary, good insurance benefits & a pension they can live on after they retire??
Please Con Edison & Afl-CIO local 1-2 Keep talking till you reach an offer everyone can live with!!
The workers & the people of NY need this craziness to stop before someone gets hurt or the lights go out!!
It seems to be the trend that if you work in this day and age not to expect to be treated with any respect or have the audacity to want to be able to retire. I worked for the city for 18 years and due to the plotting and schemes of people like Mayor Bloomberg and Cuomo's right hand man Larry Schwartz I have no health benefits, can't retire for 25 years if I live that long, and I can't even get my money out of NYCERS. This is the new age slavery/serfdom and it seems like some people are all for it, mostly those who don't feel it's affects. Tier 6 and a 401k is pretty much the same as not having a pension, and anything that is based on the stock market is the equivalent of gambling with your future pension on a crap table. Isn't it funny how after so many people got burned in the stock market all these companies and even municipalities are forcing people to put their money in that pyramid scheme? When and if they privatize Social Security people will be retiring to a graveyard because they will have to work until they die.
As for the silence of pretty much all the elected officials, it shouldn't be a shock. ConEd is a traded company with stock holders who have big money. Bloomberg probably has a piece in the company, or some of his Wall Street friends do. Lord Mike is content to fight the battle of the ice filled soda, if the lights go out he will just jump in his jet and fly off to the Bahamas. As for Andrew Cuomo, he is no friend of union workers, or the people of New York City for that matter, so if he can't get one of this controlled photo ops of it he'll just stay hidden in his lair. As for his statement that he is monitoring the situation, I'm sure he's getting updates from ConEd board member Michael Del Giudice, who is also one of the more clandestine advisers of the Governor. I would not be surprised if the two-headed monster of Bloomberg/Cuomo didn't know about the lock-out before the employers did.