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Who Cut off the Lights?

A heat wave is expected over the next few days in NYC. Amidst a labor dispute between Con-Ed and its unionized utility workers, who would you blame in the event of a power loss?

On Sunday, July 15, the standoff between Con-Ed and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America, inched a little closer to an accord after Con-Ed agreed to reinstate the health insurance of the 8,000 utility workers it had locked out beginning July 1, amidst a contract labor dispute, a company spokesman said.

The workers have been collecting unemployment benefits for the last two weeks since the start of the labor dispute, but they had to pay for their own prescription medicine and doctor visits, because the company cut off health coverage when the old contract expired, at midnight June 30.

Con Ed also wants to increase the share of health insurance costs for the utility workers over four years to 24 percent, from 17 percent, but it also has offered to increase their wages by 10 percent over the next four-year contract.

Negotiations resume today, but apart from that one concession made on Sunday, neither side seems willing to budge further.

And with record-high temperatures predicted for this Tuesday through Thursday, city officials are watching to see how the company will handle possible power outages with a scaled-down staff.

Who would you blame if a power outage were to affect you in any way over the next few days? Con-Ed has made one concession, so is it time for the union to bend a little more, or do you feel it should stand its ground for its workers?

Take our poll, and tell us what you think in the comments?

JUAN RIVERIA July 17, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Con Ed locked the Union Workers out then cancelled the health care a month early. They want to raid the pension fund (that was setup 80 yrs ago) so the board of directors can have huge wall street ponzi scheme bonus's for themselves.
Nelly duncan July 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM
When you do the math on the raise versus the medical increase we lose money....they showed you those numbers which they only did to try and make they union look bad. This country is turning a very ugly corner and if we fold and we dont get support..we wont be the first to fold.

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