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“We do not want to be spectators”: former PREPA employees reiterate the call to Pedro Pierluisi

While nearly 60% of the country remains in the dark five days after the direct impact of the hurricane fionaabout 3,000 employees displaced from the Electric Power Authority (AEE) reiterated their call to the governor Peter Pierluisi to allow them to join the efforts to recover the electrical system of Puerto Rico.

“As we have done for the past 80 years, we know that we can contribute with our experience and knowledge. We don’t want to be spectators when we are ready to light up our country. We also do not want more lives to be lost due to lack of service. Once again, we tell the governor that we are available and ready to work for Puerto Rico,” he said. Karlexy Rosarioline guard for 20 years, transferred to the Department of Education.

At a press conference in front of the main building of LUMA Energy in Santurce, Rosario pointed out that the fact that many areas of the metropolitan area continue without electricity today is not justified, when the main damage to the system was recorded in the south of Puerto Rico.

by phone with The new day, added that the personnel willing to activate in the emergency not only includes guards, but also pruners, managers, field and office personnel. “We have a lot of substation personnel, which is the biggest problem that LUMA has right now, that they don’t have the protection equipment in the substations and therefore, it was one of the main reasons why the whole country went out,” he added. .

He pointed out that the main concern of former PREPA employees is that more lives will be lost as a result of the lack of service. Last night, precisely, a fire caused by a candle claimed the lives of a 93-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man who, according to the Police, are family.

“When we make the call to the governor, it is that we do not want more lives to be lost. We see the crisis that we are experiencing now with diesel, where if we cannot solve it, hospitals and supermarkets will begin to run out of electricity. I think that would be a bigger crisis than the hurricane crisis itself,” he added.

While PREPA’s displaced personnel conference was taking place, from the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau (NMEAD) a spokesperson for LUMA Energy insisted that they have sufficient personnel to deal with the current crisis.

“We have the plan established before the emergency, we have all the resources that we understand we need to deal with the emergency in the order that I have explained how we correct it, we are going to energize all the elements, all the components. It seems to me that with what we have achieved so far, it is a reflection of this effort that the LUMA group has working throughout Puerto Rico,” raised the engineer Daniel HernandezGeneration Liaison officer of the consortium.

The spokesperson did not answer a reporter’s question about what prevents former PREPA employees from participating in recovery efforts. He added, on the other hand, that about 200 employees from the parent companies in the United States have arrived in Puerto Rico, and that there are about 5,000 qualified employees “who are ready to come to Puerto Rico if necessary.”

For his part, PREPA’s watchman denounced that the consortium in charge of the electricity grid’s transmission and distribution system is “seeing the crisis as a profit.” According to his calculations, each guard who arrived from the United States earns over $6,000 a week. Rosario stated that the expense would be six or seven times less with the Puerto Rican personnel.

To questions about whether they would be willing to reactivate under the terms of LUMA Energy -such as, for example, without the collective agreement with the Union of Workers of the Electrical and Irrigation Industry (Utier)– Rosario stated that, at this time, the Government’s concern should not be the discussion of a collective agreement or the mention of the name of Utier.

“Let the country understand that the workers who were displaced are available, we are willing and we have the knowledge to be able to work in this emergency that the island is facing,” Rosario concluded. “We sit down and discuss what needs to be discussed, We are available to work from now on, from today if the governor orders it.”

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