NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The impasse continues between Con Edison and its largest union, Local 1-2.

About 8,500 workers have been off the job for 17 days after being locked out by the utility.

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On Tuesday, union workers from across the city joined those Con Ed workers for a rally outside the utility’s Union Square headquarters to criticize the company’s attempt to — as they put it — squeeze workers.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones With More On The Story

“We are the life blood of what makes the city work and we’re being just pushed aside as if we don’t matter,” one man at the rally told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

Others said the message is simple.

“I’m hoping the public realizes that we’re not the greedy ones. Con Ed wants to take everything from us,” another worker said.

The union was joined by members of the Transport Workers Union and the United Federation of Teachers among others.

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Negotiations have entered a third week, but little, if any progress has been made thus far.

Despite the fact that the lock out is continuing in the midst of yet another New York City heat wave, the company says it’s taking all measures to prevent power failures.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller Reports

“We do things to manage a small problem before it becomes a big problem and this happens with any heat wave — nothing unusual so far. The system’s been doing very well,” spokesman Michael Clendenin told 1010 WINS.

Clendenin also applauded the job done by managers.

“We think our 5,000 managers who [have] been doing all the emergency work and the response to outages have been doing a great job keeping the system running smoothly. In fact, their response times and restoration times on equipment and outages has been consistent to what we did before the lock out began,” he said.

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How do you think the lockout will end?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…