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About half of the New York City utility workers locked out by Consolidated Edison are returning to work temporarily to prepare for major storms predicted in the area. Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Con Ed management and representatives from the Utility Workers Union of America, leading to an agreement by Con Ed to let 4,000 electric workers back on the job long enough to complete repairs required by any storms.

It's not clear what if any implications this will have for the course of the lockout or negotiations. Con Ed has been under pressure to end the lockout and has staunchly refused unless the union makes significant concessions. Today, a union spokesman "said the union did not pledge to give a 72-hour strike notice, as Con Ed had been insisting on as a precondition to end the lockout"; arguably it's good news any time locked-out workers are back on the job, even temporarily, without having made concessions. Cuomo said in a statement that "Con Ed and Local 1-2 will continue to work aggressively to reach a full contract agreement."

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