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Some Con Ed Workers Return to Work to Prepare for Storm


About half of the 8000 members of the Consolidated Edison union who have been locked out since last month will return to work immediately to help the utility prepare for coming severe storms and deal with emergencies, the union said Thursday.

Gov. Cuomo met with the leadership of Con Ed and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America Thursday morning, and the two sides agreed that the "necessary personnel will immediately return to work to prepare for the possibility of an approaching storm and will remain on the job for the duration of any emergency and any following repairs," Cuomo said in a statement.

Severe thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.

John Melia of Local 1-2 of the utility workers union said its entire electrical operations work force will go back to work Thursday.

The two sides will continue negotiating to reach a contract, Cuomo said. Neither side has indicated any real progress since workers were locked out June 30 after their contract expired.

Wednesday, both sides testified before state Assembly members about safety issues since Con Ed began using managers and retired workers to fill in for the locked-out union members. Also on Wednesday, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said he launched an investigation into whether consumers were being overcharged because the utility was relying on usage estimates, rather than meter-reading.

In a statement Thursday, Con Ed said they applauded the governor's "support and leadership for doing what's in the best interest of all New Yorkers."

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