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CL&P's Profit Jump, Staffing Levels Will Draw Scrutiny

The ranks of line crews at Connecticut Light & Power Co. are so thin that it's not unusual for workers to be on call eight out of 13 weekends, especially during the summer vacation season, a longtime line worker said.

"It puts a lot of pressure on your wife. She's with the kids all the time and the guy's gone again," said the worker, who asked not to be named.

CL&P isn't hurting financially, far from it: Its profits have been rising steadily since 2003. And a year ago, CL&P's parent, Northeast Utilities, showed its strength by cutting a deal to acquire a very large Boston-based utility.

But to hit those profit numbers, CL&P has pared its...