With just hours to go in labor talks before a Midnight deadline, Con Edison’s negotiations with Local 1-2, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO entered a brutal phase as the Company suggested its workforce was expendable as the global pandemic rages on.

Local 1-2 President James Shillitto, who is bargaining with the Company, said Con Ed paid no heed to the sacrifices by Members who lost their lives to Covid-19 or more than 700 Members sickened by the virus.

Shillitto said his Members are First Responders in any emergency, vital to any recovery effort - whether it was 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, regional blackouts, blizzards, or hurricanes. “Local 1-2 is out there day and night,” he said. ”Some of Con Ed’s proposals show little regard for the danger we face as it seeks to divide its dedicated workforce trying to pit one group of workers against the other. Local 1-2 and its united membership keep the lights on.

“We are used to Con Ed’s hardball tactics, but we are puzzled during this pandemic and the current civil unrest in New York and around our country, that it is conducting business as usual. We hoped going in they would be better than using human beings as expendable, rather than valuing its employees, recognizing lives lost, families shattered, and a public that is hurting.”

Shillitto warned that under these circumstances Con Ed might prefer to force a Labor Action instead of offering a fair and decent agreement.

“We are hoping that for the good citizens of New York City and Westchester County and our members that Con Edison starts acting responsibly and begins to bargain in good faith”, Shillitto said.

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