Showing posts with label KeySpan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KeySpan. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2010

TWU's National Grid Protest Jams Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn - UPDATED

(See UPDATE at bottom of post.)
The rain didn't dampen a noisy, high-spirited TWU (Transit Workers Union) Local 101 protest at rush hour Thursday evening on Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The rally was staged right in the street outside of the Brooklyn MetroTech headquarters of National Grid (which used to be called KeySpan, once known as  Brooklyn Union Gas).

Traffic slowed to a crawl as music blared, union workers chanted and blew whistles and sympathetic bus drivers leaned on their horns.

 The signs called National Grid "National Greed." TWU represents roughly 1,600 workers at National Grid, which, according to union workers, is threatening layoffs.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle has published a statement by National Grid.

Previous posts on National Grid / KeySpan / Brooklyn Union Gas:
National Grid's Catell Says Buh-Bye to His Million-a-Month Brooklyn Office
- It's Official: KeySpan Is Now National Grid 
- KeySpan Cleanup, and More Brooklyn Thursday News
- KeySpan Workers on Tinderhooks as Merger with National Grid Looms
- KeySpan/ National Grid Merger: Another Snag
- What Does KeySpan/ National Grid Merger Mean for Brooklyn?
- KeySpan, National Grid Merger One Step Closer
- British Co. to Take Over Brooklyn-Based Electric Business
- National Grid Offers Concessions in Pursuit Of Keyspan


 Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

National Grid Down One Truck on Brooklyn's Atlantic Ave.

The front of this National Grid truck was totally staved on Monday morning around 8:30 when it ran into the rear of another truck (the MXI truck, shown below) at the intersection of Atlantic Ave. and Bond in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

The MXI truck appeared to suffer no particular damage, while the National Grid truck appears to be a total loss. We didn't see the moment of impact, so we're not sure if anyone was hurt -- but no one seemed to be carrying on.

Through the rear window of the National Grid cab, you can read the words "No Rats!"

National Grid used to be KeySpan, which used to be Brooklyn Union Gas.

Previous posts about National Grid/ KeySpan here.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

National Grid's Catell Says Buh-Bye to His Million-a-Month Brooklyn Office


Newsday has a great story about the goings-on at National Grid's MetroTech headquarters.

National Grid (remember when it was called KeySpan? And before that Brooklyn Union Gas?) confirmed that it is in discussions with the landlord of its Downtown Brooklyn building. National Grid wants to vacate the top three floors to reduce costs and consolidate.

But there had been a little hitch, says Newsday: Former KeySpan chief executive Robert Catell, now executive chairman of National Grid USA, had "expressed a strong desire" to remain in his spellbindingly impressive 23rd floor office, which two sources said is leased for around $1.1 million a month.

After what we can assume was a bit of pushing and shoving -- Catell is said to have a "special bond" with his executive aerie -- we're told that the matter is now settled and that National Grid will fix up another office for Catell -- a bit lower.

Of course, hundreds of regular National Grid employees live in a different reality: All National Grid office employees below the vice president level are being shifted to workstations six by eight feet in size.

Catell's stock, retirement and potential separation package from National Grid has a value of $81.4 million if he departs this fall.

A Lower Perch for National Grid Chief Newsday

- It's Official: KeySpan is Now National Grid
- KeySpan Cleanup, and More Brooklyn Thursday News
- KeySpan Workers on Tinderhooks as Merger with National Grid Looms
- KeySpan/ National Grid Merger: Another Snag
- What Does KeySpan/ National Grid Merger Mean for Brooklyn?
- KeySpan, National Grid Merger One Step Closer
- British Co. to Take Over Brooklyn-Based Electric Business
- National Grid Offers Concessions in Pursuit Of Keyspan


Photos by MK Metz

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's Official: KeySpan Is Now National Grid

The old KeySpan signs are coming down at the Jay Street headquarters of the KeySpan Corporation (once Brooklyn Union Gas). They are being replaced by silvery letters spelling out the name of the new corporation, 'National Grid.' (A graffiti artist loved the brushed metal simplicity of the new signs.)

After a lot of give and take, (including whistle blower suits, charges of collusion and rate-making tricks, a DOJ investigation and toxic site clean-up promises) the New York State Public Service Commission unanimously voted to approve UK-based National Grid's acquisition of KeySpan on Aug. 22. (Kudos to Newsday for their continuous coverage of the merger.)

The deal calls for a freeze on base gas delivery rates through 2012.

A member of the maintenance staff at KeySpan HQ in Brooklyn told McBrooklyn Wednesday that "it 's going to be a big job" changing all the signs, but that "National Grid is a better name. KeySpan... what kind of name is KeySpan?"

The best name, he said, was Brooklyn Union Gas. "But those days are gone."


Previous posts on the KeySpan/ National Grid merger:
- KeySpan Cleanup, and More Brooklyn Thursday News
- KeySpan Workers on Tinderhooks as Merger with National Grid Looms
- KeySpan/ National Grid Merger: Another Snag
- What Does KeySpan/ National Grid Merger Mean for Brooklyn?
- KeySpan, National Grid Merger One Step Closer
- British Co. to Take Over Brooklyn-Based Electric Business
- National Grid Offers Concessions in Pursuit Of Keyspan


Photo by MK Metz

Thursday, August 16, 2007

KeySpan Cleanup, and More Brooklyn Thursday News

- The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Keyspan have reached an expanded agreement on cleaning up several highly contaminated sites in Brooklyn, including two in Gowanus and one in Williamsburg. The most prominent of the sites is the one known as Public Place in Gowanus. Gowanus Lounge

- The city announced this week a $2 million project to commemorate abolitionist activity in Downtown Brooklyn -- but still plans to raze Duffield Street homes, which may actually have been stops on the Underground Railroad. Brooklyn Eagle

- A Bob Dylan video was shot Tuesday in Williamsburg. Dylan wasn't there, but a look-a-like was there along with "a ton of faux-hippies." Gothamist

- Rapper Foxy Brown has been charged with felony assault for allegedly attacking her Brooklyn neighbor last month. PR Inside

- More Atlantic Yards demolitions, one around the base of the future Miss Brooklyn. Brownstoner

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

KeySpan Workers on Tinderhooks as Merger with National Grid Looms

Both Brooklyn-based KeySpan and National Grid -- the British company close to taking over KeySpan, once known as Brooklyn Union Gas -- have initiated an early retirement offer for management-level employees in an effort to cut some 700 jobs, according to Newsday.

The job cuts are crucial for "the promised hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called synergy savings" from the merger. If the voluntary program doesn't do the job, however, the two companies will "review other options."

One KeySpan veteran said the planned cuts have affected worker morale. "Everybody is walking on eggshells," said the worker.

More here.

Previous posts about the KeySpan/ National Grid merger here.

Photo by MK Metz

Thursday, April 26, 2007

KeySpan/ National Grid Merger: Another Snag

Newsday reports that Long Island Power Authority chairman Kevin Law demanded today that Brooklyn-based KeySpan Corp. present "in writing" a detailed plan for investigating and cleaning up old, toxic gas-plant sites before LIPA votes on a lucrative service agreement for KeySpan and its prospective owner, National Grid.

This unexpected move adds to the "rising chorus of calls for KeySpan to take action on the manufactured natural gas plants and gas storage sites, which have languished for decades under prior owners and which KeySpan acquired in 1998," Newsday says. LIPA has decided to delay a vote on the National Grid agreement.

See full story here.

See previous postings (with other possible merger complications) here.

Photo of the KeySpan logo, taken at company headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn, by photojournalist MK Metz.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What Does KeySpan/ National Grid Merger Mean for Brooklyn?















Long Islanders seem to be expressing themselves much more than Brooklynites about the soon-to-be-accomplished KeySpan/ National Grid merger. Do the Islanders have more of a beef?

At a public info session in Smithtown Friday Long Islanders expressed "a mix of concern and optimism" about Long Island Power Authority's proposed service agreements with National Grid and KeySpan, reports Newsday. Long Island residents want National Grid to overhaul the region's "antiquated" power plants, Newsday says.

A representative for Assemblyman Marc Alessi said he was concerned Long Islanders were signing on to "subpar service for their hard-earned money" given National Grid's much criticized service record in the Northeast. So what does that mean for Brooklyn?

(History: The Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO) merged with Brooklyn Union Gas in 1998 to form KeySpan.)

Previous stories about the KeySpan/ National Grid merger here.

Friday, April 6, 2007

KeySpan, National Grid Merger One Step Closer




National Grid, a British utility, has agreed to give pay raises to its 3,210 unionized employees across upstate New York in return for union support of the company's contested merger with Brooklyn-based KeySpan Corp., reports the AP via Newsday.

As recently as two months ago, union officials had criticized the KeySpan deal in testimony to state regulators, according to this report.

See here for previous posts about the KeySpan/ National Grid merger.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

British Co. to Take Over Brooklyn-Based Electric Business


Prelude to Merger?


England's National Grid and (Brooklyn and Long Island's) Keyspan have announced an "amended agreement" with the Long Island Power Authority to operate the electricity and power transmission business on Long Island until 2013. This brings us one step closer to the controversial merger of National Grid and Keyspan, expected to go through mid 2007.

Not everyone sees this as a good thing, of course. According to Newsday, legislators and experts who were "already wary of the proposed buyout of KeySpan by National Grid" were unmoved by the news, saying that the $236 million-plus in promised benefits "fall short."

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "I remain skeptical that the merger will benefit ratepayers."

According to Long Island Business News, "The State Department of Public Service issued a 200-page report that slams the proposed merger between KeySpan and National Grid, calling it a bad deal for customers."

For a previous story about the merger, see here.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

National Grid Offers Concessions in Pursuit Of Keyspan

But What About the Ducklings?

Bloomberg.com carries an analysis of the moves England's National Grid Plc is making in its bid to win New York State approval for its purchase of KeySpan Corp (once called Brooklyn Union Gas, with headquarters at MetroTech -- and a window full of ducklings every spring).

Among the concessions offered: National Grid says it will share merger savings with natural-gas customers (for three years) and spend $1.4 billion upgrading its Niagara Mohawk utility, blamed for an unusually high number of blackouts. Debt at National Grid would rise $11.4 billion to finance the purchase, an amount that threatens its credit rating unless the state agrees to "unreasonably high rates'' for gas customers, reports Bloomberg.

"Staff's testimony appears to consist largely of a series of speculative assertions about 'worst case' possible outcomes,'' KeySpan Chief Executive Office Robert Catell said in written testimony, adding that the merger will moderate rate hikes that would otherwise hit 11 percent.

The Public Service Commission is expected to rule on the merger this summer.

Update: The Times reports that the former top spokesman of KeySpan claims in a federal lawsuit that he was improperly fired four years ago as punishment for alerting executives to allegations of accounting irregularities involving hundreds of millions of dollars. See story here.

(Duckling photo courtesy of Gamenerd under Creative Commons license.)