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    By Colin Campbell

    With the contract negotiations between Consolidated Edison Inc. and its largest New York union alternating between hot and cold, State Senator Greg Ball isn’t going to take it sitting down. Consequently, his office sent out a press release this morning entitled, “BALL TO CON ED: ‘GET IT DONE! CUT THE CRAP, CLOSE THE GAP.’”

    Mr. Ball, a Republican from Westchester County, is particularly upset that the workers remain locked out of their jobs during the negotiations.

    Continuing the statement’s tendency to stop just short of PG-13 language, Mr. Ball announced, “There is never a good time for Consolidated Edison workers to be on picket lines and that is especially so when it is as hot as Hades!”

    (Although on the scale of things, the statement ranks as extremely tame for Mr. Ball, who is no stranger to wild political incidents and declarations.)

    “Utility workers are the backbone keeping us in the 21st century, with all the creature comforts, and it is critical that management provides the framework for an immediate and lasting agreement,” he explained to justify his point. “The sooner these hard working men and women are allowed to return to work, and both sides meet with open hearts at the bargaining table, the better for Westchester and beyond.”

    For its part, ConEd frames the dispute as entirely due to the union being unwilling to cooperate. In a short statement on its New York website, the firm uses the phrase “The union leadership refused.” roughly every other line. (ARTICLE)