Con Ed workers threaten to power down in strike
About 9,000 Con Edison workers are threatening to walk off the job Sunday unless their union and the utility company reach an agreement.
Steam, gas and electric workers who perform repairs and other duties voted earlier this month to strike unless a deal is reached by midnight Saturday. The strike would include Westchester County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens ? but not Staten Island ? workers.
Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 cites the amount of years it takes for some employees to get to top salary scales, the amount workers are expected to contribute toward their medical care and retirement plan options as sticking points in the negotiations.
Local reps claim picket line assignments have already been handed out and signs are printed. "If Con Ed does not meet our demands, there will be a strike," says Tony Pedagna.
The union says hundreds of managers would have to do the work if they walk off the jobs. "You do the numbers. We don't think they can respond to the needs of the public," Pedagna says.
Yonkers resident Angela Rush hopes that's not the case. "You worry about the elderly and young children if their air conditioners break down," she says. "Con Edison should have a backup plan."
"We are currently in negotiations, and we expect to reach a successful conclusion," Con Ed said Thursday in a statement.
A mediator is trying to help the sides reach a solution. They are currently in around-the-clock negotiations.