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Aresimowicz to PURA: Put a Halt to Northeast Utility Outsourcing

The battle with Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Berlin-based Connecticut Light and Power, continues as the House Majority Leader submitted testimony to PURA Monday calling for a cease to plans that would outsource hundreds of IT jobs.

Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, could outsource hundreds of IT jobs overseas. (Credit: Northeast Utilities)
Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, could outsource hundreds of IT jobs overseas. (Credit: Northeast Utilities)
A legislator’s fight to halt plans that would allow Northeast Utilities to consolidate services and outsource hundreds of Information Technology jobs has reached a new stage.

House Majority Leader Joseph Aresimowicz on Monday submitted testimony to the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority requesting that the authority reject the proposal submitted, requiring the jobs to remain in state.

“I am highly distressed by the outsourcing of hundreds of jobs currently held by middle-class workers here in Connecticut for the sake of corporate profit,” Aresimowicz told PURA.

“The outsourcing could have several severe consequences including diminishing the utility’s storm response capabilities, jeopardizing the security of its infrastructure and customer information, and degrading the quality of customer service,” he said.

The plans, announced in September, are designed to help further a merger between Northeast Utilities and NSTAR. The plan calls for outsourcing of several hundred jobs, mostly in the IT department. The exact number of jobs and where the jobs would be eliminated from has not been completely determined.

Al Lara, spokesman for Northeast Utilities, confirmed Monday that the company is currently working directly with the state Attorney General and Consumer Counsel to answer questions and concerns.

The reasoning behind the move lies in a merger between the two utility giants last year, but moves being made are deliberate, calculated and done with the best intentions of the company and its customers and employees in mind, Lara said.

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

“We are going to become a more efficient organization and since the merger began, the company has taken a slow and deliberate approach to the process to not just effect change but make changes for better,” he said.

Aresimowicz, who represents Berlin and Southington, has repeatedly met with the Berlin based utility over the past few months.

Supported by several fellow legislators, Aresimowicz sent a letter on Sept. 9 requesting PURA investigate the “reported outsourcing.” On Nov. 7, PURA officially opened a proceeding to investigate the outsourcing and held a hearing Monday.

In Aresimowicz first term, he introduced legislation requiring companies seeking to do business with the state to identify whether services would be performed outside the United States. The legislation, which passed the House, was never taken up for a vote in the Senate.

If it had been approved, it would have also given preference to contractors with supplies, materials and equipment produced, assembled or manufactured in the Connecticut or United States and to services originating and provided in the state or United States, Rose said.

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