This year, we dealt with the challenges associated with the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America. Negotiations with the union began in April 2012 with the goal of reaching an agreement by the expiration date at midnight on June 30, 2012.
At the time of expiration, however, the parties were still not in agreement. In the early hours of July 1, after the union did not agree to company proposals to extend the contract or to sign a separate agreement providing there would be no-strike or lockout without advance notice, the company believing that it would be unfair to ask Con Edison customers to live under the threat of a sudden strike that could undermine the reliability of their energy services concluded it had no choice but to lock out the union employees to protect the safety of our system and provide our customers uninterrupted service.
Trained and experienced management personnel staffed essential operations, following through on detailed contingency plans more than half of our management workforce was assigned to maintain essential service for field work. Guided by detailed contingency plans and training for their contingency assignments, management employees allowed us to continue to deliver safe and reliable service. Our call centers continued to handle high volumes of customer calls as we quickly restored customer outages during heat waves and a severe thunderstorm safely and reliably.
Throughout the contract negotiation process, the company stressed the importance of working to achieve a contract that would be fair and equitable for both employees and customers, and ultimately, a contract was achieved. Our priority continued to be maintaining a safe, professional, and productive work environment for all employees and to assure the delivery of safe and reliable service to our customers.