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We asked our viewers whose side they’re on in the Con Edison contract dispute and not surprisingly a majority, 51%, of you were on the union’s side. But many were also left asking who’s on the public’s side as rates and living costs continue to rise and squeeze the middle class out of the City. More of your thoughts posted below.
With temperatures expected to reach the 90s for the next five days, the pressure is on Con Edison to maintain the power grid. And it will have to do so without the help of 8,500 workers who have been locked out. Negotiations over a new contract with the utility workers union broke down over the weekend and won't resume until Thursday.
The utility has 5,000 managers running operations, and it's closed walk-in payment centers and suspended meter readings until the labor dispute is resolved. Union leaders say a sticking point is employee pensions. They claim Con Edison wants to "lesson our health coverage" and "double the premiums" they charge members. What do you say?
Are you concerned the power grid won't hold up with 8,500 workers off the job? Which side of this labor dispute do you support? Are your Con Edison bills in line with the service you receive?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
The managers might have been able to do the job way back when, however do not have current safety and technical certifications necessary to perform repairs in today's world, and yet they get paid the big bucks while the guys on strike have to beg for a raise.
Stop wasting valuable $ and time before someone gets killed over this strike due to lack of proper skills.
So what’s new with this Con Ed? So now we have 5,000 managers that can't do the job of the 8.500 workers. How can they be managers of these workers if they don't know how to do the job themselves. Par for the course. Their rates keep going up and even when they installed the cell phone towers over my head where I live we had to pay for the instillation to Con Ed but they denied when we all asked what it was for. I might add that we were billed with an extra bill other than our regular monthly bill. Meanwhile the Ceo's are walking away with the store.
YOU CAN'T MAKE ANY OF THIS UP.
One more thing most of the meters don't ever get read at all. They use the excuse that it is to dangerous to read them but meanwhile what the computer does is look at last years amount used and match it with the present year and the greater of the two amounts is what the computer will choose for us to get billed by.
And so it goes.
Thanks so much for covering this story. It is important for the public to know that the Local 1-2 utility workers are hoping for a fair contract and that after a hard days work they want to feel comfortable in knowing that they have affordable health care and pension benefits. It's also important for the public to know that these men and women work in dangerous conditions and in all kinds of weather. They are not asking for more but simply want to keep what they already have.
Par for the course in this country, blame the worker for everything because it is all their fault. It amazes me how a company like ConEd, that has little or no competition, raises rates constantly, only maintains and upgrades equipment after something goes wrong, and can't seem keep their system running every summer, can complain about not having money. Or perhaps it shouldn't amaze me since every company seems to be run this way, and it's okay as long as they stick it to the workers to even the books. Pensions and wages are part of contracts they agree to and are not nearly as extravagant as what the upper management in these situations run away with.
And it's not like ConEd does not have revenue coming in, watch what happens when you don't pay them 50 dollars, they get their money one way or another. But when and if their service goes out and customers lose food or electronic equipment it is a whole other story. It's good and bad that this happened during this heatwave, because if there is a problem and they can't fix it then it will show that this attitude of screw the people who do most of the actual work perpetrated by the so-called upper class in the country needs to stop. With the current state of the city a blackout could be interesting for all the wrong reasons and the ugliness that has been simmering might boil over. Only good thing is that if no televisions and few radios are working we won't have to hear Emperor Bloomberg pontificate from his golden throne.....
Con You Ed, an A.L.E.C. member since 1979, want's to screw everyone for the fat cats. They don't care how many they put at risk or kill. Shame on you Con Ed!
Con Edison Chairman Burke and his top executives have grown rich on the customers’ high electric rates. Recently he awarded his Board of Directors-whose total compensation is in six figures- with 20% raises, not to mention the already rich stock options they possess. Burke takes in more than $10 million a year and has a guaranteed pension of $18 million, all paid for by Con Ed customers. In contrast, the cost of Members of Local 1-2 makes up less than 5% of a customer’s bill.
Do you think you'll be a fat cat someday and don't want unions, pensions, benefits or decent salaries for workers? Or are you just one of the numbed and dumb that wants everyone down in the hole that you're in?
Greetings in solidarity with all my union brothers and sisters, #OWS, and everyone fighting the 1% fat cats. Go Go Local 1-2!
Rusty - DC37 Retiree
I am so sick of these union-busting, parasites like Kevin Burke, who have never done a really hard, dirty, dangerous days's work in their entire useless lives. We are living under a corporate fuedal system and Bloomberg is the arch architect of this. We need to take our lives and economy back from these bloodsucking parasites such as Burke and Bloomberg.
How dare the Con Ed workers expect everyone else to sacrifice. The workers should be expected to sacrifice like every other Con Ed worker,
Chairman Kevin Burke whose compensation only increased from $10.3m to $11.0m in 2011. How is poor Kevin Burke expected to buy another summer home with only a $700k increase in compensation?
Look at Con Ed's latest proxy report and you will see that the four other members of Con Ed's senior management all saw their annual compensation increase in 2011. Where was their sacrifice in 2011? The board of Con Ed took home $2.3 million -- where was their sacrifice.
I ask every NY1 viewer to look at Con Ed's latest proxy and you will see that upper management has not sacrificed one bit at Con Ed.
The utility workers just want want has been given to them for the past 70 years. A pension and medical benefits. It's not what we want but it's what we deserve.
We're all making sacrifices. The vast majority of working people have no pensions and pay significant contribitions towards their own health care. Con Ed union employees have had it good for years. They need to sacrifice like the rest of the country must in these tough evonomic times.
My Con Ed bill is outrageous and where does the bulk of that money go? Certainly not the workers. Kudos to Local 1-2 for standing up to Con Ed!!! Workers must come first especially in these difficult economic times. If the grid fails - so be it. Unions before Management and greedy Corporate America ALWAYS!!!
The average Con Ed worker probably does not realize that the cost of their benefits represents an additional 50 percent in expenses to the employer. This level of benefits is not sustainable. Only governmental, Verizon and 32B/J employees have comparable levels of benefits.
Con ed. Should set up a program a worker can go back and get paid and get benefit. Regardless. Of the union And get a bonus for helping the co and people. In case of emergency
I wouldn't want to be bias at all. Each side has there needs. However when it comes to signing a new contract the company should be doing the books well enough to know what's to come by the next contract and offer only what they know they can in the worse case scenario. In other words, Con Edison shouldn't promise their workers a certain percentage because they expect to make a certain amount of money, but promise only what they know they can deliver. That way if the economy gets worse, they can still deliver what was promised.
Long Island City
I'm a union employee also and I'm on the side of the workers. They do the actual work that keeps the city going. They deserve the best contract the union can negoiate.
I believe that the viewers who are pro union and are not union members would have a different thought process if the found out the financial facts of what a union employee gets paid.
1. What is a top rate of pay of union members hourly wage
2. How much do they get paid for holidays and when they call out sick
3. How can a union delegate speak to a manger
4. What union supporters have ever managed a union umployee
I would love to know the facts on all of these questions
Con-Ed, and all utilities, should be run as non-profit organizations. This would benefit the vast majority of New Yorkers- instead of the immense profits going to pay huge CEO salaries and dividends to shareholders, our sky high electric rates could be reduced and the workers would be treated with the decency and respect that they so richly deserve.
I would like to know when somebody get badly hurt or injured because the scum chairman Burke is only thinking about filling his own pockets, will the New York D.A have the guts to charge this animal criminally since he is knowingly putting all of the public as risk and in great harm. It just a thought
I totally support the Con Ed workers - it is nonsense to say the money isn't there to allow them a decent wage and benefits - tax the corporations! Tax the 1%!
This is another good example why NYS should create its own Independent Energy and do away wuith ConEdison. For the people this must be done.
Founder - Rent Is Too Damn High
I beleive this all a con game. The men stay ouut and then Con Ed settles and they raise the rates. How is it that there are 5,000 inside workers to take the place of 8,000 outrside workers. That seems like a lot of fat
Upper West Side
I support the workers. Con ed has made record profits and increased the pay of management employees ridiculously. But when it comes to the union employees they want to strip them of all the benefits they receive. The union workers do all the dirty and dangerous work. Shame on con ed for locking out the workers.
What exactly do people mean when they say sacrifice, and why does that always apply to the worker. When do the executives sacrifice. Rent is going up 7 Percent paying more for medical and co pays but raises are 2 percent over a four year period how much do you sacrifice before there is not enough to meet essential needs.
Con ed union workers pay is less than 5% of a customers bill. Guess where the rest of the money goes!??????
I think this is ridiculous! These managers don't have the skills and knowledge necessary to handle what these workers do. Whatabout these Con Ed workers that work in the heat all day long in the maholes??? I defitnely support the workers! These workers work extremely hard 365 days a year 7 days a week to bring the important necessities to millions, and millions of New Yorkers and others in many different places. Now that con ed is needed the most with these extremely hot days and workers have to work twice as hard they can't help them out? A couple of managers CANT handle what the 8500 workers can. Are they going to support their families?
The lady who called and said unions need to be abolished is uneducated and misinformed about the purpose of the union. Comments like that are the reason why the lower and middle class are forced to remain there because people do not understand and know what their rights are and that is part of the reason why a union is important. I am a union employee and yes, although we are compensated for working in horrid conditions but if we didn't do the grunt work who would? In addition we put our lives at risk every time we respond to a job or get called in to work to answer emergency calls during dangerous weather conditions. The union is not fighting for more money it's against corporate greed and the company trying to take away our American dream of retirement and living in peace knowing we have a financial future that's safe and affordable.
They can not complaint about no profit because they made a lot of money. They should give it to the people that really do the work and take it away from those that just take their big salaries and do little to no work. ( the managers). We are with you brothers and sisters keep it up.
Where the hell is the mayor and why hasn't he gotten involved with this strike issue. Is it not as important as his soda campaign? I have a few choice words for Bloomberg, but I bet he's heard all of them already.
Kenny from Greenwich Village
Please please look at cnbc Cramer show from last month were Kevin Berk is bragging how much money the company made the last several years and how good it should do in the coming years and how the share holders have made money.
WHY DO " CON YOU ED" NEEDS 5000 MANAGERS TO SUPERVISES 8500 WORKERS.
It realy makes me mad to hear these anti union people complain about the unions. Half of the people who are ones against the unions couldn't do their job for an hour! The cost of living has increased and so should their wages. They are hard working people and should not give anything back. Con Edison incresased my bill, I think some of tat should go to the workers. Con Edison better get their buts back to the table!
Shirley, Maspeth, Queens.