A year after the 2011 storms that shut down Connecticut, unions representing Connecticut Light & Power workers say the number of linemen is down, not up — and they’re mounting a protest Monday to bring attention to the decline.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, locals 420 and 457, say the protest and rally at noon Monday at the state Capitol in Hartford will include other unions and affected people.
The event is planned as the two union locals are working under an expired contract. Their last bargaining agreement expired June 1. Talks are continuing.
John Fernandes and Frank Cirillo, business managers of IBEW Locals 457 and 420, respectively, say they have a combined 397 line workers, down from 416 last fall. Other jobs in the unions are also down, they said.
The company has offered to hire an additional 30 workers, Cirillo and Fernandes said, and that’s not enough in their view — especially since the company wants to rearrange shifts. The unions would like to see a staffing increase of 20 percent for linemen, Fernandes said.
Company spokeswoman Caroline Pretyman said, “Our staffing levels are in line with leading utilities and we staff for the amount of work we have. When major storms hit, we call on other utilities and experienced crews to help us restore power, as is standard utility practice.”
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