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Incidents Arise As Con Edison Lockout Goes On

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. — As Con Edison's lockout of 8,500 union workers continues into its second week, equipment vandalism in Armonk and a falsely reported gas leak in Yonkers have rattled the utility company that called in 5,000 managers to take over field operations after contract talks failed July 1.

Following an hour-long mediation session Saturday between Con Edison and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America that yielded no headway, the next meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Tuesday at a LaGuardia Airport Hotel.

Representatives of the union could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

On July 4, an unknown person shot an arrow into an overhead conductor near Baldwin Road and Bedford Road in Armonk, which affected service for 1,200 of the company’s employees, according to Con Ed media relations representative Sara Banda.  She also said that at about 3 p.m. on July 5, another unknown person shot two bullets into a conductor on Old Post Road in Armonk and consequently knocked out service for about 2,000 customers.

“We are not alleging that any particular individual or organization was responsible for the arrow and bullets, but we are seeking the public’s help in preventing further vandalism,” the company said in a statement.

Con Ed said they are working with the North Castle Police on the investigation and have asked the public to notify the company or police if they witness suspicious activity near Con Edison equipment, vehicles or crews.

On Friday, Yonkers Police responded to a call from the company’s security branch regarding a false report of a gas leak at 127 Hawthorne Avenue, which was made to Con Edison’s Gas Emergency Line. After following up on the case, police said the Yonkers Police Department Intelligence Unit arrested Con Edison employee Loriann Eriksen, 41, of Yonkers and charged her with second-degree false reporting of an incident, a felony. She is scheduled to appear in Yonkers Criminal Court on July 9.

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