Cilento to Assemblymembers: [Con Ed has] gambled with our health and well-being in a high stakes game of chicken
New York State AFL-CIO President Testifies at Assembly Hearing on Con Ed Lockout
Today, Mario Cilento, president of the 2.5 million member New York State AFL-CIO, provided testimony to a joint hearing of the New York State Assembly Committees on Labor, Energy, and Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions to examine the protocols established by Con Ed to ensure public safety and delivery of services. The hearing comes on the heels of Con Ed’s July 1st lockout of 8,500 workers who belong to Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America.
In his testimony, Cilento said, “When we talk about electricity, gas, and steam, we’re not talking about some optional services people choose; we’re talking about services that are essential to people’s lives. Think about a woman with disabilities who lives on the seventh floor of her apartment building without elevator service when the power goes out. Think about senior citizens with health ailments who lose air conditioning when the grid fails. Think about your family and the food that must be discarded when there is no refrigeration. It is in that framework that we must view Con Edison’s lockout. In short they have gambled with our health and well-being in a high stakes game of chicken.”
In addition to Cilento, Local 1-2 President Harry Farrell and other representatives of the union representing Con Ed workers provided detailed testimony outlining safety and service concerns caused by the lockout. Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, also provided testimony underscoring the jeopardy caused by the lockout to the well being of New Yorkers.