The capitol – The president of the Commission for Economic Development, Planning, Telecommunications, Public-Private Alliance and Energy, the representative Víctor Parés Otero, resumed on Friday the work of the Resolution of the Chamber 64, which evaluates the “Law of Public Energy Policy of Puerto Rico ”, and the“ Law to Transform the Puerto Rico Electric System ”, with the objective of ensuring an adequate and orderly transformation of the Puerto Rico electric system.
On behalf of the Alliance of Active and Retired Employees of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, president of the Union of Electrical and Irrigation Industry Workers (UTIER), appeared, who recommended that the Commission cancel the contract awarded to LUMA Energy to operate and manage the transmission and distribution system of the island’s electrical system.
Following this, Figueroa Jaramillo expressed in a written communication to the members of the Commission that the UTIER, PREPA’s Employee Retirement System and other entities are in the process of challenging the Contract and its approval process both in the administrative and judicial spheres.
“The UTIER and PREPA’s Employee Retirement System are fighting the administrative priority of payments to LUMA Energy for its transaction to Puerto Rico,” he added, assuring that it has put the Authority in a worrying budget deficit, since the initial transaction, from public funds, has amounted to $ 26,346,003.84 to the people of Puerto Rico.
Likewise, the union leader reiterated that, “the point of view of all the legal opinions that we have made the contract is null, it is leonine, for violating various provisions of current laws and its public policies. Therefore, from your entry you should not continue with the contract. It has to be canceled ”.
Likewise, Figueroa Jaramillo presented evidence of how the contract contains rate revisions and does not recognize collective agreements.
“LUMA plans to request a review 186 days after signing the contract,” he added, insisting that the contract does not do justice to the Puerto Rican people.
To questions from representative Parés Otero about the provisions of the “Law to Transform the Puerto Rico Electric System”, the president of the UTIER indicated that “it does not comply with the requirements.”
He insisted that the contract does not comply with the two laws that are under evaluation by the Commission, since “it contemplates increases in rates that could be in force at the beginning of next year.”
Regarding job guarantees, Figueroa Jaramillo indicated that, according to his assessment, this guarantee is not guaranteed, “LUMA is not committed to recruiting … I do not see that job security from LUMA.”
Followed by, the president of the Commission pointed out, “Law 120 is clear. There is no need to make any new law, or amend it, it is clear in that sense. For this reason, we have sent letters, both to PREPA, and to the director of the Authority of Public Private Partnerships (AAPP), to honor this law that dictates public policy on the subject of employees of the Authority ”.
Representative Parés Otero acknowledged that PREPA and the AAPP are not complying with the provisions of the laws.
“They are not complying with the laws regarding the personnel of the Authority. Doing job fairs certainly creates a different expectation than that hiring mania. The law that was approved, Law 120, guarantees, in black and white, their permanence of employment ”.
For this reason, he announced that he will be rendering a report with all the findings and subsequently legislate to reinforce the acquired rights and jobs of PREPA’s public servants through a mandate of law.