About 200 CL&P workers rallied at the state Capitol on Monday to protest staffing levels at the utility, which has 1.2 million customers in Connecticut.
The linemen said that staffing is down from last year — when the state was pummeled by two devastating storms — and that safety is an issue, the Connecticut Post and other media outlets reported.
CL&P responded on Monday that they are staffed appropriately and will call for outside help in the case of widespread outages.
Union leaders said the company had 416 linemen last year and now has 397, the Post said. The union says CL&P should increase staffing by 20 percent — or about 80 workers — while CL&P has offered to add 30. The union has been without a contract since June 1.
"The union is using the media to distort the facts," CL&P spokeswoman Tricia Taskey-Modifica said on Monday. "We have the number of linemen we need for the work we have. In the event of a storm, we get help from outside."
CL&P came under fire last year for its failure to ensure that enough crews were available from out-of-state to help repair damaged lines after the powerful October snowstorm, which was right on the heels of extensive damage from Tropical Storm Irene.
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