Linemen have vote of no confidence in Northeast Utilities

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HARTFORD-- More than a dozen Northeast Utilities linemen converged on the Capitol on Monday.
The Connecticut Light and Power and Yankee Gas employees, led by union leadership from IBEW Local 420 and 457, presented a letter to Gov. Malloy's secretary voicing concerns with their employer's management practices.
"They testified that there be no reduction in the work force. That has proved to not be true. We've lost about 25 members between both locals of various classifications. Linemen, electricians," business manager for IBEW Local 457 John Fernandes said.
The men said NU has been cutting away at jobs and consolidating work centers at a cost to rate payers. They also said that the company is outsourcing jobs.
"They came out to membership, our workers in late '13, early '14 and said we're not going to need you after 3 o'clock and on weekends. We're contracting that work out. And, they have done that at an expense of twice it would have cost to have our employees do that work," Fernandes said.
NU spokesperson Tricia Modifica argued that the outsourcing came after the union was unwilling to shift employees schedules.
"For 18 months we worked with our union and the leadership to try and come to an agreement and an arrangement so that we could schedule our line workers for all these different shifts so we could provide our customers with the excellent service they deserve," Modifica said.