Prepa: Personnel Ready to Address Issues During Strike
Announces Contingency Measures for 24-Hour Work Stoppage
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) said Tuesday that it has implemented contingency measures to continue offering service during the work stoppage called by the Union of Industry Workers Electrical and Irrigation (Utier by its Spanish acronym), for Wednesday, May 12.
“We count on the supervisors of the different technical offices together with the management personnel of the public corporation and the field personnel who will address the situations that may arise during the strike period,” the utility’s director of transmission and distribution, José Sepúlveda Aponte, said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The commercial offices in Naranjito, Aibonito, Santa Isabel, Yauco and San Sebastián will be closed Wednesday.
Prepa’s customer service director, Noriette Figueroa Meléndez, added that “some of the Commercial Offices will open during regular hours to serve customers who have a prior appointment as assigned by turnospr.com, following our health protocols.”
Utier called on lawmakers last week to override Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s veto of a resolution that postpones the contract with LUMA Energy to manage Prepa’s transmission and distribution and customer service until January.
“The Legislature has to listen to the country and not turn a deaf ear as Pedro Pierluisi has just done, who does not want to listen to the people and only listens to his friends who are going to become more millionaires with this contract,” said Utier President Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo.
Figueroa Jaramillo says the contract increases the electric bill by 15 percent, eliminates Puerto Rican workers “by taking away their rights and pensions,” and leaves the island “without an electric company to deal with a catastrophe if a hurricane or earthquake hits … again, since LUMA can leave the island if an event like this occurs,” according to a Utier release.
“It is incredible how Pierluisi is the only one who defends this contract that only benefits LUMA when the Manufacturers Association; MIDA [Chamber of Food Marketing, Industry & Distribution]; the Bar Association; the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico; mayors, think tanks such as the Center for the New Economy, which are experts in energy issues; IEEFA [Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis] … among many other entities of civil society have asked that the contract be stopped because of how bad it is for everyone. Legislators have the opportunity to rise and listen to all sectors of the country and stop this contract,” he said.
Prepa said customers will continue to be able to receive services and pay their bills at www.aeepr.com or calling customer service at 787-521-3434.