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Aresimowicz, Legislators Pressure CL&P, NU Over Potential Outsourcing

State legislators, led by the Berlin state representative, demanded clarity – and decisions – from Northeast Utilities and Connecticut Light and Power as the company explores outsourcing of IT jobs during a press conference Thursday.

State legislators, led by Berlin State Rep and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, are turning up the pressure on Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, in an effort to prevent jobs from leaving the state.

Aresimowicz, with the support of Deputy Majority Leader Sandy Nafis, State Rep. Russ Morin and Energy Committee Co-chair Lonnie Reed spoke publicly against the potential outsourcing of hundreds of jobs Thursday during a press conference at the capital, calling plans “non-transparent” and saying it will only serve to compound “a less than stellar track record to storm response.”

“Sacrificing middle-class jobs to increase pay for CEOs is shameful. We are increasingly becoming a society where ‘business as usual’ means laying off workers while executives cash in. It’s unacceptable,” Aresimowicz said. “While it may benefit the ‘one-percenters,’ what does that mean for the rest of us who go to work every day to build a better life for our children?”

Aresimowicz, who represents Berlin and Southington, met with NU twice in the past two weeks to discuss reports that the company plans to send hundreds of Connecticut jobs offshore. However, NU has refused to publicly confirm if they are outsourcing Connecticut jobs.

Al Lara, spokesman for Northeast Utilities, said the reason information has not been released regarding outsourcing lies in the fact that no decisions have been made.

Northeast Utilities earlier this month confirmed media reports that the company is looking at the possibility of outsourcing jobs from the IT department as the company continues their merger with NSTAR following an agreement in 2012. The company is working alongside the Consumer Counsel and Attorney General during these discussions and providing constant job updates and changes, representatives said.

Early reports have indicated the outsourcing would include "hundreds of positions," but NU Spokesman Al Lara said no final numbers have been determined at this time.

“It is a simple matter,” Lara said. “When we merged, the company did so with comprehensive agreements and a concentrated effort to deliver real savings to our customers.”

The potential outsourcing is a concern for more than just jobs, however, Aresimowicz and Nafis each said Thursday. With no local IT, the company is in a position where they could be more liable to cyber attacks and out of position for proper response in the event of another major storm.

Nafis said the storm response for two of the last three major storms “was deplorable” and eliminating positions would only serve to make it worse, yet again. Now it’s time for the company to make the right choice for their consumers, they said.

“When NU and NorthStar first talked merger, top executives promised that any downsizing of the workforce would come through attrition and retirements, not layoffs,” Reed said. “This is not the first complaint lodged that claims violation of that agreement. NU needs to live up to their word.”

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