ConEd Negotiations End in the Dismissal of 8,500 Workers

coned.jpeg
Well, this completely backfired.

Over the past ten days, the Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America and ConEd officials have  been arguing over the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement that ended at midnight Saturday. 

As the deadline slowly passed last night, the electrical titan that powers New York City and Westchester County decided to lock out 8,500 workers and replace them with 5,000 managers - a team of supervisors that the company hopes will be able to keep power running without the interference of losing 8,500 laborers with the snap of a finger. Imagine losing your job at 2 in the morning?

However, ConEd is not calling it a "lockout" because it simply told workers to not show up to work. Passive aggression as an union-busting tactic works too. But, by shutting off communications for the 8,500 workers and replacing them with supervisors, a strike planned for midnight was swiftly avoided, even as three hundred workers rallied Downtown at the same time, chanting "If we go out, the lights go out!"

The main focus of the contractual argument centered around the pension plan ConEd was offering, or was going to offer, its workers. The one right now uses a traditional model - pay in while you're working, pay out when you're retired - but the new one is based off a cash-balance system, which sets up hypothetical accounts to pay out workers and, according to the Times, "tends to yield lower benefits to older workers."

Before the lockout, ConEd made one final offer to the Local 1-2, which basically was a plea for a labor strike notice. The corporates wanted the laborers to notify ConEd seven days in advance of a strike or work stoppage. The utility rejected this proposal and asked the bosses if they could return to the table for negotiations. But, unfortunately, it didn't look like there was a seat for them anymore.

So now what? This company provides 3.2 million New Yorkers with A/C and they just shafted a large portion of their workforce. (This is a great time for firing, too. It's not like there's a heat wave or anything.) The laborers even offered to work without a contract, just to make sure we, as users, have the electricity to power our Wi-Fi, fan, laptops and whatever other plugged-in device we have. Can supervisors, who are used to cubicles and the 9-5 shift, complete the job of a manual laborer? 

ConEd, it's one thing if you couldn't agree with your workers on a contract but, if this fallout affects me watching the EuroCup game this afternoon, all of New York will bring you back to the table.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]
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12 comments
Skyysixx
Skyysixx like.author.displayName 1 Like

you are a complete brainwash idiot, the rich people love u. Keep taking what they decide to give you and keep kissing their asses, no matter how much ass kissing u will do they will get rid of u in a heartbeat. Unions will always have the balls to stand up and fight and becuase of this maybe your pathetic kiss ass will still benefit from unions standing tall. In the mean time keep kissing ass for your $7.50 per hour and keep being a loser

Lynx65
Lynx65

We are not all managers - we are just called management employees - meaning non-union.  Some are supervisors but most of us are just regular (non-union) employees like IT personnel, accountants, etc. From what I can tell, the contract offered to the union seemed fair - they were offered 10% salary increase over 4 years - more than I got.  Also, all existing union pensions would remain intact (it would only change to the cash-balance option for new employees going forward).  We already have this 2 tier pension system for the management employees. Also, how about giving us management employees a break. we are doing a good job, and working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week to make sure everything runs smoothly, while the union gets to throw a tantrum.

Sickofit
Sickofit

No I'm not management that works for the company, I just know people on both sides of the fence. that fact that you call them scab scum just proves your ignorance. management employees don't have an option, if they don't work, they get fired, they are doing what they have to do just like the union people. educate yourself...

mike
mike

 The strikers were lucky to have jobs when so many don't.  I'll be the first in line to train and replace them.

nunyabiz
nunyabiz

 So as a disabled vet, the government was your union

Sickofit
Sickofit

Garbage wages? Wow that's a joke....you guys are so overpaid as it is.... well not now your not

Sickofit
Sickofit

They are not managers, they are management employees. there's a difference , the supervisor to employees ratio is 1 for every 10. the last time cones had a strike was almost 30 yrs ago..9 weeks with no pay..and what was the end result? everyone came back to work and gained nothing..........way to go union...sad

Nyspike1
Nyspike1

This is all garbage and hear say. The union workers dont know what they went out for in detail - negotiations are kept sealed. Some highlights are on the coned website but tha does not say exactly what was offered and the union wont say shit either. Unions are good to have to fight for what you deserve but when they get greedy themselves the worker suffers the most. If i was offered an extension why not take it and if terms were not settled then you walk. I guess the union did not really give a damn about its union brothers and sister....its a damn shame they did not have a chance. With this economy those workers will have to find other jobs to pay ends meat if they did not save anything for this strike, lockout, whatever you want to call it but they also gave the union leaders an ok to strike so hopefully they planned something. So far without the union coned has been holding up pretty good considering this heat wave we've been having. I bet the union was counting on this heat wave as a negotiating tool. Well for what its worth the workers deserve a decent salary and benefits considering the conditions they work under but also to take under consideration it's a fair salary and not getting greedy like there union leaders as well as the corporate leaders of coned.

Laborite
Laborite like.author.displayName 1 Like

Yes we do and it's garbage - garbage wages, garbage pension, exhorbitant health contributions by employees for a worse plan, worse sick leave, and those are only the starters.  The question is why King Burke wants to take away these benefits from his employees while he is rewarding himself with millions each year in bonuses and stock, and why he wants to take away the traditional defined benefit pension plan from his workers while it is not even good enough for himself.  He not only gets his defined pension (valued at $1.8 million) but also a supplemental pension of - get this - $16 MILLION! That is why his minions at the bargaining table abandoned their argument that their demands for givebacks had anything to do with customers' rates (together with the FACT that the union labor costs make up less than 5% of the bills).  There wouldn't be any savings to the customers, only more money for the greedy top management.

AL M
AL M like.author.displayName 1 Like

 A further question is WHY THE HECK ARE THERE SO MANY MANAGERS? They've almost as many managers as they have employees? Maybe the 'top' management knew this and figured out they just don't need those workers, they can get the job done by demoting managers to workers?

AL M
AL M like.author.displayName 1 Like

Typical union busing capitalistic nonsense . Workers need to stand up for themselves are soon everyone will be working for WalMart wages

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