Con-Ed’s biggest union, the Utility Workers Union of America, is asking the state to intervene in the lock-out of thousands of field workers that has gone on since July 1, says the Wall Street Journal (paywall).
In a petition filed Wednesday with the New York Public Service Commission, the union stated that Con-Ed has been unable to provide adequate service with its smaller staff – 5,000 managers are currently covering the work of 8,500 union employees, says the article.
"ConEd has a public responsibility to be fully prepared to provide the services it sells," John Melia, spokesman for Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America told the Journal. The petition also asks the commission to investigate .
ConEd spokesman Allan Drury told the paper that, "Between management employees and contractors, we are able to fill our staffing needs for emergency calls and outages," while adding that transformer and manhole inspections are continuing.
Con-Ed has been under pressure from elected officials to resolve the dispute, which centers on changes to pension plans for new hires, and this week Council Speaker Christine Quinn wrote a letter urging the company to continue negotiations without a lock-out, says the article.
"Let me be clear, your actions do not have my support," Quinn said in the letter. "The public's safety, which is the paramount issue, remains at risk."