Are you fracking serious?

Contract negotiations that stretched early into Sunday morning between Consolidated Edison and its largest union have come to an abrupt halt, with the utility saying that 5,000 of its supervisors would step in to maintain service during the dispute.

The union said its 8,500 Con Ed members had been locked out.

“Con Ed locked out members at 2 a.m.,” said John Melia, a spokesman for Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America.

Yesterday topped 90 degrees in NYC. So did Saturday. Today will push 90. And Con Edison locks out its workers? Amazing.

The union's contract expired at midnight Saturday night, but the unions had offered to keep working while the negotiations continued. Con Ed stated that the unions refused an offer that either side would provide seven days notice before striking or initiating a work stoppage. The company couldn't be assured of providing service with that kind of uncertainty and so had to lock the workers out.

Had the workers walked out I could just imagine the press and public pressure:

"How could those workers, those union workers, take advantage of a heat wave like this?"

I just hope service is maintained in this heat, and that the workers get a decent deal quickly so they can get back to their jobs and paychecks. But we know, historically speaking that heat waves are toughest on the poor. If service goes out, they are the most likely to suffer. That's the most pressing concern in a situation like this.

Also, see JayRaye's post on this from yesterday.

For more on the heat wave in general, see here.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Invisible People, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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