By STEPHEN SINGER, AP Business Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Workers at Connecticut’s largest utility may inch closer to a strike when they vote Thursday and Friday on a contract offer that the union’s leadership has recommended be rejected.

Union negotiators say workers and Connecticut Light & Power are still far apart on staffing and overtime issues.

If workers reject the proposed four-year contract, they will automatically authorize a strike. A work stoppage is by no means certain.

Frank Cirillo, business manager at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local, said the previous contract that represented about 1,200 workers, expired in June.

He says a company demand that workers be on call for possible overtime infuriated the union.

Caroline Pretyman, a spokeswoman for parent company Northeast Utilities, compared utility workers with first responders such as police officers and firefighters.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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