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N.Y. utility managers braced for walkout

Management employees of the Long Island Lighting Company in New York began an orderly takeover of ''all essential services'' as two unions representing 3,900 workers prepared to go on strike at 4 p.m. yesterday. The unions agreed to let management personnel take the jobs to prevent confusion and disruptions at the strike deadline.

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The electric and gas utility (Lilco) serves 2.6 million customers in New York's Nassua and Suffolk Counties and 99,000 in Queens.

The utility is asking unions to agree to ''austerity measures'' that include a 5 percent wage cut, fewer holidays, and reduced benefits. The unions charge Lilco with mismanagement and contend that workers should not have to take cuts of $1,600 a year to save the company from bankruptcy caused by overruns on its Shoreham nuclear power plant.

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