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National Grid to shift 75 jobs from LI to Brooklyn

National Grid will shift 75 administrative jobs from Long Island to Brooklyn as it consolidates downstate locations and reduces the status of its onetime "main" office in Hicksville, according to an internal company memo.

In addition, London-based National Grid, which acquired the Long Island facilities when it bought KeySpan in an $11.8-billion deal in 2007, said nine downstate offices "could transfer some or all their activities to other nearby locations" as part of consolidation strategy. Offices that could be affected include Roslyn, Bellmore, Greenlawn, two in Hicksville and two in Melville.

National Grid no longer will view the sprawling facility in Hicksville as one of its four main U.S. offices, according to the memo. It cited National Grid's "guiding principles," that office workers "will be located in as few sites as possible." The remaining three main U.S. offices are in Syracuse, Brooklyn and Reservoir Woods, Mass.

The 75 nonunion employees to be shifted off Long Island are in audit, business development, corporate affairs, legal, human resources and business development departments.

The main Hicksville office will become an "operating site and special purpose facility" and serve primarily as a "base for functions that support the field," including gas and electric field crews, the memo said.

"We know that moving work locations is difficult and can have a significant impact on our employees," executive vice president Tom King wrote in the Jan. 28 memo. "However, we're confident we're making the right decisions in consolidating office space in a way that will produce efficiencies, reduce costs and create long-term value for our customers and the company."

Long Island Power Authority chief executive Kevin Law said the authority evaluated the move and doesn't expect any impact from it. National Grid, he noted, had already shifted some LIPA billing functions to a contractor in Connecticut. Call centers like one under review in Melville will keep some Long Island workers, he said.

Bob Shand, business agent for local 1049 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents nearly 3,000 National Grid union employees, said it was too early to say if the move would hurt union workers. "If they announce a closing that hurts my members, obviously I would have something to say about it," he said. He noted that a no-layoff clause with the union remains in place for another year.

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