Con Ed Talks Break Down, Thousands of Workers Locked Out

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Around two this morning, Con Ed called the Utility Workers of America's bluff, dismissing some 8,500 workers who had been threatening to strike.  "They stood up and kicked us out," a union spokesperson told the Times' City Room blog. "We feel this is very unfortunate. Both sides are very far apart," a Con Ed spokesperson told the AP, adding that the company is bringing in 5,000 supervisors to keep the grid up and running. Meanwhile both sides claim they offered an escape valve, with Con Ed requesting a two-week extension to the contract negotiations and the union offering to work without a contract until a deal was struck. In less worrisome news — at least to Con Ed's 3.2 million customers and the city's overtaxed air-conditioners — temperatures are barely expected to break 90 today, hovering comfortably in the eighties tomorrow.