Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Negotiations Continue Between Con Ed, Union

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TWC News: Negotiations Continue Between Con Ed, Union
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Con Edison and union representatives remain at odds as contract talks aimed at ending an employee lockout drag on.

8,500 unionized workers have been locked out since the beginning of the month, when both sides failed to reach a new contract agreement.

After both sides met Tuesday, Con Ed said it's now offering a 10 percent pay hike over four years but it wants employees to pay more toward health care.

"All of our employees at Con Edison make a decent living," said Michael Clendenin, Con Ed's director of media relations. "They make a good wage. They make very good benefits. They make benefits and pensions and 401k plans that many companies across the country are no longer even offering."

But union representatives said not only is that offer deceptive, they said the utility is trying to negotiate through the press and not at the actual bargaining table.

"What is this ploy about?" said John Melia, a spokesman for UWUA Local 1-2. "What is this cynical release of a press release having to do with an offer that was never made? They're liars. They lie to the public, they lie to the media and they lie to their own employees."

Con Ed said 5,000 managers have been working to keep the power flowing during the dispute.

Con Ed worker Paul Grassi, 33, was arrested on assault charges Monday for allegedly blowing an airhorn in a manager's ear in the Bronx.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has asked the state's Public Service Commission to make sure Con Ed has a plan to handle any further heat waves.

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