As expected, Green Party Congressional candidate Joseph Diaferia has declared his full support for the 8,500 employees of Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) who have been locked out from their jobs since last week. Citing greed and intransigence on the part of Con Ed, Diaferia is calling upon the people of New York City and Westchester to join him in solidarity with the locked out Con Ed workers.
Diaferia commented, “Without warning or notice, Con Edlocked out the members of UWUA Local 1-2, despite that the union had made no threat of a strike, and was in fact willing to continue working while negotiations continued. It is very important for the public to understand that this is not a strike. It is a lock out”.
Diaferia noted that Con Ed is demanding oppressive reductions in health care and retirement benefits, and made no wage proposal to employees until shortly before the lockout was put into effect. Diaferia added that such” damnable disregard for working people” is compounded by the fact that Con Ed recorded profits of over $ 1 billion in 2011, and that the salary and pension of its CEO Kevin Burke approached $11 million and $18 million respectively.
Said, Diaferia, “A CEO who has more money than he’ll probably ever need is inflicting devastating hardship upon workers and their families, and apparently thinks nothing of endangering the public by doing so.”
After meeting with some locked out Con Ed employees, Diaferia reported that contrary to claims made by the company, managers who have been sent out into the field to assume the duties of their subordinates have performed abominably.
Diaferia reported, “Employees with whom I spoke, lamented that they would likely face termination if their performance was as sub-standard as that of the managers sent out to replace them. One employee showed me an I-Phone photo of electrical wires left dangling precariously in a residential neighborhood after managers had reportedly completed their work, and this was apparently not an isolated case.”
Diaferia continued, “What we’re witnessing is brazen arrogance and greed, and a criminal disregard for public safety. What can be said of a company that refuses to accommodate its hard working employees, while providing its customers with a false sense of safety? Perhaps an inquiry by the US Attorney is in order here. (Incidentally, Diaferia declined to disclose the date, time, and location of his meeting with the Con Ed workers in order to protect them from possible reprisals.)
Asked how he might respond to charges of one-sidedness on
behalf of the locked out Con Ed employees, Diaferia responded, “If telling the
story that the media are not telling means that I’m being one-sided, then fine—I’m guilty as charged. I’ve been a member of many unions and I’ve repeatedly
witnessed the militant anti-labor dogma of the corporate media. So if I’m being
one-sided, I am simply reporting the other side of the consistently one-sided reportage of the mainstream. After all, couldn’t it be suggested that Con Ed’s management is being one-sided on its own behalf?”
Diaferia, in his second run for public office, has been a member of many educators’ unions, the CSEA, and the United Auto Workers. He is calling upon his Democratic opponent Rep. Eliot Engel, and Republican Joseph McLaughlin to declare their positions regarding the Con Ed. Lockout.
For Confirmation: DiaferiaForCongress@gmail.com