The Associated Press
July 17, 2012
Tuesday’s loud, boisterous rally was held in Union Square in the midst another heat wave blanketing New York City. Joining the members of Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 were members of the Transport Workers Union, the United Federation of Teachers, the Communications Workers of America and others who threw their support to the utility workers.
“Your fight is our fight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“This struggle isn’t just about Con Ed workers, it’s about all of us,” he told the cheering crowd.
The Con Ed workers were locked out on June 30 after their contract expired and negotiations over a new one failed. About 5,000 managers are keeping electricity going for 3.2 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. Talks between the utility and its largest union resumed on Monday.
Neither Con Ed nor the union has indicated any real progress.
Union spokesman John Melia says the company “bowed to public pressure” in reinstating health insurance for the 8,500 locked-out workers.
Workers are covered for July, retroactively.
(Story distributed by The Associated Press)