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PSEG to lay off 20 contract workers

A PSEG service truck comes out of the

A PSEG service truck comes out of the service yard in Hicksville on Jan. 1, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

PSEG Long Island is preparing to let go 20 unionized contract workers after previously cutting more than 100 tree-trim crew members in September, the company and the workers' union said Friday.

The workers, who are all employed by outside companies contracted to PSEG, work on power lines, pole placement, repairs and other outside jobs. The workers are to receive notification of the layoff on Wednesday, PSEG said.

Don Daley, business manager for local 1049 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said the 20 job cuts would bring the total number laid off from outside crews this year by PSEG to about 120 people -- a 75 percent reduction in outside unionized staff, he said. About 40 contract workers will remain on the job, Daley said.

PSEG spokesman Jeff Weir said the cuts were the result of the company’s work-plan management, a wind-down of year-end work and budget issues.

PSEG in September cut more than 100 tree trimmers working for outside contractors, citing budget issues and  the shift to other priorities, including development of computer systems. Those cuts produced $7 million in savings this year.

Daley suggested PSEG was taking a risk in laying off workers, many of whom travel out of state for work when it dries up on Long Island.

“I think they’re rolling the dice a little,” Daley said.

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