San Juan – The Union of Electrical and Irrigation Industry Workers (UTIER) presented on Monday, a motion before Judge Laura Taylor Swain to deny the second motion to grant priority to LUMA Energy over the expenses incurred in the operation and management of the electrical system until the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has a confirmed debt adjustment plan.
“We are asking the judge, in the event that Luma arrives, not to give her priority to pay her expenses until the debt adjustment plan is approved. Granting administrative expenses again to LUMA Energy would affect PREPA’s debt restructuring, as this implies that LUMA is paid first; be understood, first and completely, in relation to PREPA’s other creditors. This is compounded when taking into account that PREPA has a deficit this year of at least 432.8 million dollars, caused, among other things, by the LUMA Energy contract. Therefore, PREPA would not have the necessary funds to pay for said contract, its operations, and simultaneously pay just enough to all its creditors, including the Retirement System, ”explained Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, president of the UTIER in a written communication.
Figueroa Jaramillo explained that the UTIER stated that the motion presented to grant administrative expenses in favor of LUMA is staggering so that it can be awarded on its merits because PREPA has not demonstrated that LUMA has met all the conditions for the grant to be granted. contract.
“We make this statement before the Court because PREPA has not been able to prove that it complies with what is stipulated in the contract. LUMA has not been able to hire the 3,800 employees required to operate the country’s electricity service. It is interesting and significant that the Fiscal Control Board did not want to disclose the number of employees that LUMA has hired to date. This is indicative that they will not be able to assume the reins of the Authority in a responsible manner by the date of June 1, just at the beginning of the hurricane season, ”he added.
The union leader further explained that Judge Taylor Swain’s earlier decision awarding administrative expenses for expenses incurred in the transition period was appealed to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.
“This appeal has arguments that would prevent Judge Taylor Swain from awarding administrative expenses in favor of LUMA Energy again. Therefore, PREPA’s motion is not mature. The motion is not mature either because the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico approved a Resolution on April 7, to amend the LUMA contract and postpone its entry until January 2022. The UTIER will take all the legal steps necessary to prevent administrative expenses from being granted again in favor of LUMA Energy ”, he pointed out.
Judge Taylor Swain will hold a telephone hearing on April 28 with the legal representation of the UTIER in charge of the Emmanuelli Law Firm, CSP, to clarify this controversy.