ConEd, public safety, and the regulatory response.
Scott Strauss and Peter Hopkins are partners at Spiegel & McDiarmid. The attorneys represented the Utility Workers Union of America and UWUA Local 1-2 in their case against ConEd before the New York PSC in July 2012.
Consolidated Edison Company of New York made history in July 2012, when it imposed the largest-ever labor lockout in New York state. Following the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement between ConEd and the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, ConEd sent home the 8,000 craft union employees responsible for operating and maintaining the utility’s electric, gas, and steam services to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. The company undertook to provide service through a makeshift workforce of management employees, retirees, and contractors, but ConEd admitted that it suspended certain significant utility services. As the lockout dragged into a fourth week and summer temperatures soared, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed concern that “there is a real possibility of a safety or reliability issue if [the lockout] situation continues. This is especially true as our region faces an ongoing heat wave which places significant stress on the power grid and requires all parties to devote the highest level of attention to the energy system.”1