'These people are helping you': PG&E workers and families plead for compassion amidst power outages

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- As power shut off to hundreds of thousands of customers across California, many PG&E workers are feeling the public wrath. One worker was reportedly shot at in Colusa. The PG&E office in Oroville was egged. The headquarters in San Francisco put up fencing. On social media, posts about the planned power shutdown are filled with comments griping about the utility company.

But with the increased backlash, families of employees are now posting a plea -- please, don't take your anger out on the field workers.

"They are out here busting their butts every day," Jill Tunzi, whose brother has worked for PG&E for 30 years, told ABC7 News, "They're the ones out there when there's storms or hurricanes or whatever, they're going to other states helping restore power."

RELATED: A look back at PG&E's history of blackouts

"I mean, you want these people," she added. "These people are helping you."

Tunzi posted a similar message on Instagram to voice her frustration about the way PG&E workers are being treated.

"People are cursing at them, you go to the grocery store, people were cursing at PG&E," she explained, "And they are the worker bees, they have nothing to do with the power outages or the fires."
In fact, she noted, many of the workers have also lost power. Some are even fire survivors.

Tunzi is not alone. She is one of many PG&E families who shared this sentiment on social media.

FAQ: How long will this last, what's happening with PG&E, where can you get help?

A photo of a PG&E worker embracing his newborn son went viral. Nearly 40,000 people have shared the post.

"They're hardworking people," Tunzi said of the photo. "That's the perfect example of a family man, a dad, you know, taking care of his little guy."

For the latest stories about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.

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