The leader of the Union of Workers of the Electricity and Irrigation Industry (Utier) Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo denounced this Sunday that the LUMA Energy consortium, created to manage the transmission and energy distribution of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) contrary to what was announced, plans to request a rate increase in the energy service before the end of the year.
In the presentation of the agreement with LUMA, both the governor, Wanda Vázquez, as well as other agency heads and LUMA executives, assured that the consortium would have nothing to do with the energy tariff for consumers, which would be regulated by the Energy Bureau.
By then, PREPA's voluminous contract with the US-Canadian consortium LUMA, which groups ATCO, Quanta Services and IEM, under the concept of Public Private Alliance, had not yet been made public.  "We are making public what the contract says," said Figueroa Jaramillo, assuring that what he is denouncing is not his opinion on the agreement but what is written in it.
"They lied. They already have a rate revision planned, "denounced the union leader, citing an annex to the contract.
" They are going to try to say something else. But the contract says that it is delegated to them, to LUMA, the power to request tariff revision to the (Energy) Bureau. And they are going to tell you that that faculty has the Authority now, and it is true. But what changes here is the deception of the people. It is that they already have planned to make that tariff revision, "he insisted.
" They already have foreseen, in 186 days, to go to the Bureau to request the revision, and still They haven't even sat down to lead. The agreement is not even in force and they are already thinking about modifying the rate, and I don't think it is to lower it. Also, if you have a bankrupt Authority and you are going to add an expense of over $ 100 million to pay LUMA, where are you going to get it from? "He said.
Figueroa Jaramillo added that for the next few hours they hope to do published a detailed report that they are making about the contract with the help of experts, so that the people can better inform themselves about the implications of the contract.
“We will be making public a complete legal analysis of the contract, of what the contract says and the violations of law that it has. The sole intention of that contract is to end the unions and seize the $ 18,000 million (in federal funds) that will come "affirmed the worker leader.
" By the way, the Attached are the small letters of the contract. That's where the trap is, "he wrote.
He maintained that the agreement does not have any risk for LUMA, and that the consortium" does not contribute a penny out of pocket "to make capital improvements to the electrical system.
“In operational matters, the Authority will cover all the operational expenses of LUMA. And when I say everything, it is everything, lawsuits, fines, payroll, except for the 42 executives they bring and who are going to collect from the $ 125 million that they are going to collect from the government. They will be reimbursed for all operational expenses, fines, lawsuits, legal expenses, financial advisory expenses, absolutely everything, up to municipal taxes. That is in one of the annexes, where it defines what the reimbursements are and there are 22 'items' that fall into reimbursements, "he explained.
Figueroa Jaramillo insisted that the contract" is not a round business, it is a universal business " , where Puerto Rico is harmed. He added that, in addition to the matter of the tariff and the reimbursement of all operational expenses, the agreement also violates unions and workers' rights.
"The entrapment is that if you say that you are going to guarantee the rights ( workers) is respecting the agreement and respecting the union, "said Figueroa Jaramillo. “The contract clearly does not recognize the collective agreements with the unions. The contract establishes that it assumes and is responsible for everything except the agreements. They pretend not to recognize the employment conditions that are now in the agreement. ”
Figueroa Jaramillo assured that the registration of the unions has already begun to see the explanations about the contract and to discuss it and they are“ in total rejection ”of the contract.
He also commented that, at the moment, LUMA has not made any type of approach to the UTIER nor to the alliance that includes all the unions in the energy sector.
“They reported that they are going to interview the workers to See the role they play, the operation and the internal operational structures. And then they decide whether to hire. In other words, in Puerto Rican words, teach me what you do, so I can throw you away, "he said.
Figueroa Jaramillo also called to be alert and to monitor the legality of any management that LUMA makes regarding the operation and operation of PREPA, all Once the controversial contract has not legally entered into force.
“There is a contract for a transition, but from there to say that you are in charge, a lot is missing. That contract does not come into effect until judge (Laura) Taylor Swain (appointed to handle the bankruptcy of Puerto Rico) approves the agreement to pay the bondholders, and that can easily take up to a year or even more. For this reason, the one-year transition period that it has to give the judge time, "added Figueroa Jaramillo, highlighting that the contract" states that the most that can be expected is 30 months or it is canceled. "
" The only thing What has come into effect is that you are going to be in a process of transition, and they are going to be paid to learn from us. They will charge $ 60 million for a year, more could bill from $ 325 per hour to $ 50 per hour, according to the position (of the management employees who propose to bring) ", denounced Figueroa Jaramillo.
Finally, the leader of the UTIER denied emphatically circulating rumors that workers are taking sit-down actions or threatening the electrical system to cause blackouts.