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Union Workers Raise Red Flags Over LIPA Privatization

An electrical crew contracted by LIPA works on overhead lines on Old Country Road in Melville - Nov. 19, 2012 (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

An electrical crew contracted by LIPA works on overhead lines on Old Country Road in Melville – Nov. 19, 2012 (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is urging caution over recommendations to privatize the troubled Long Island Power Authority.

“What’s the consequences if we break up the workforce and we don’t benefit the gas and electric ratepayers here on Long Island don’t benefit from the synergy savings that they have now today?” Don Daley of Local 1049 asked WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs on Monday.

Privitazation will not necessarily mean lower rates and better service, he said.

He’s urging officials not to rush a decision.

“The conversation needs to go deeper than just whether we privatize it,” he said. “No it’s not an easy answer and I think it’s important that the public really starts to hear all the aspects that involve this.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has backed the privatization in the wake of the utility’s response to several recent storms.