WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — With the next meeting of Con Edison officials and Local 1-2 Utility Workers Union of America leaders scheduled for Tuesday, passions are running high as workers continue to picket at the company's work stations in Westchester County and the five boroughs.
On Monday morning, locked-out workers had set up tents and were picketing the Elmsford/Greenburgh work station, which is located just off the Saw Mill River Parkway's Eastview exit.
Union members have been protesting since contract talks stalled Sunday morning after their contract expired. Local 1-2 refused to accept the company’s deal to maintain its current contract until July 14 as talks continued. A total of 8,500 union members were locked out, and 5,000 managers were called in to take over operations.
Union member Tom Deady, a mechanic aide at Con Ed, said he is hopeful about Tuesday's meeting, which will take place at noon at a hotel at LaGuardia Airport. But he anticipates the lockout will go on even longer.
The unresolved issues on the table include pensions, medical, health care, sick time, vacation time — “the whole gambit,” he said. According to Deady, the company is being intransigent with union workers even as it experiences financial prosperity.
"They just want to send us back to the Dark Ages. That's the way I feel. The company's making record profits. They're not hurting, by any means. Dividends are up every quarter,” he said. “There's no reason to have this, absolutely no reason.”
The union is still hoping for a fair contract, Local 1-2 spokesman John Melia said.
“So far, in three months of negotiations, Con Ed has done nothing that one could characterize as negotiation. They dictate,” he said. “So we hope they change their stance tomorrow.”