Blumenthal looks to save at least 45 gas company jobs

Keith Loria Sep. 10, 2009, 4:59pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Following up on a promise they made last week, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked the Department of Public Utility Control to bar Connecticut Natural Gas/Southern Connecticut Gas from laying off at least 45 employees.

In asking for the stay of elimination, he is asking that the DPUC investigate whether the job cuts threaten safety and reliability and conflict with rate orders.

Blumenthal also wrote CNG/SCG President and CEO Robert M. Allessio urging him to keep these workers on the job until the DPUC completes its investigation.

"I urge this company to stop playing Russian roulette with public safety and service reliability. These layoffs mean losing personnel vital to safety and service-which is why an order stopping them is urgent and essential," Blumenthal said.

"We will fight for a stay, stopping dangerous job cuts until the DPUC can investigate their impact and legality."

CNG/SCG announced the layoffs after the DPUC rejected its requests for rate hikes, instead slashing CNG's rates by 4.2 percent and SCG's 3.2 percent.

The DPUC cut the company's rates because it was earning more than the approximately 10 percent profit allowed by regulators.

"Our request for a stay is grounded in the need to ensure that the public interest is served and that safe and reliable gas service for CNG and SCG's customers is not compromised," Blumenthal said.

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