Brothers and Sisters Spring is in full swing. I hope everyone had a great Spring Break. By the time you read this article it will be Good Friday or possibly Easter Sunday either way the PUC will have ruled on the Hunt’s purchase of Oncor Electric Delivery. Whatever the PUC rules do not let it get in the way of you enjoying your holiday weekend. Monday, March 21st the PUC held another open meeting regarding the sale of Oncor. There was a ton of dialogue and no action taken. The PUC is scheduled to meet again Thursday, March 24th to decide if the Hunts will purchase Oncor with the REIT scheme in place. The REIT scheme is IES wrapped in a different package; it will not be good for the workers or consumers in the long haul. The REIT structure has recently received significant attention in the regulated utility industry in Texas and could have substantial potential for CenterPoint and other utilities. President and CEO of CenterPoint, Scott Prochazka, stated “We will continue to study the possibilities and monitor developments, including related regulatory proceedings and will present any findings to our shareholders at the appropriate time.”
The road block in the deal has been the $250 million in annual federal taxes which will be avoided. Commissioner, Brandy Marty Marquez, has been adamant that the $500 million in savings the Hunts will receive in the first two years of owning the Company should go back to the rate payers. Chairman, Donna Nelson, has been in the Hunts corner all along and will vote for the Hunts. Commissioner, Ken Anderson Jr., will have the deciding vote.
In Mondays hearing I kept hearing things like: Investors need to know what their profits will be; Initial leases for OEDC must be approved to close the deal; There will be two leases one for Transmission and one for Distribution both for two years; If things go South rate payers will not be affected only OEDC. Hunter Hunt spoke a great deal on how Sharyland operates. At one point he stated “Sharyland is not involved with these proceedings but, this is how we do it at Sharyland.”
The Hunt legal team wants the PUC to approve the initial leases as they have submitted them and they will work out future leases after they are the owners.
Brothers and Sisters it is time to unite. Our Union has an organizing drive to organize the unorganized work groups in Distribution. No one can organize the work place except you. Talk to your Crew Leaders and DOTs and encourage them to go on our web site at www.ibewlocal69.com and sign the Authorization for Representation Form to begin strengthening our position to negotiate our wages and benefits with the new owners. Now is the time! There are some that might say “let’s wait and see what happens.” Brothers and Sisters after it happens it’s too late.
In Monday’s meeting there was discussion from the Commission about no way was Oncor Asset Co. to be harmed. Oncor Electric Delivery was not included in that statement. OEDC will be a contract company which will bid for the work from Oncor Asset Co. After two years the bidding will be open for all contractors to bid for the distribution work from Oncor Asset Co. If the PUC does not approve the deal we will need to be organized in order to negotiate with whoever the new owners will be.
In April we will have our quarterly meetings across the system. I look forward to seeing everyone that can attend the meetings. The schedule is as follows;
Tuesday - April 5 – Waco – 5 pm – Hampton Inn – 4259 N Hwy I-25
Wednesday – April 6 – Salado – 5 pm – Holiday Inn Express – 1991 N Stagecoach Rd.
Thursday – April 7 – Athens – 5 pm – Holiday Inn – 1119 E Tyler St.
Tuesday – April 12 – Brownwood – 5 pm – Holiday Inn Express – 504 Commerce
Wednesday – April 13 – Snyder 5 pm – Holiday Inn – 1305 Coliseum Dr.
Thursday – April 14 – Odessa – 6:30 pm – Elegante Hotel – 5200 E University
Tuesday – April 19 – Wichita Falls – 5 pm – Oyster Bar
Wednesday – April 20 – Bonham – 5 pm – VFW Hall
Thursday – April 21 – Lewisville – 5 pm – Select Inn – 200 N Stemmons Frwy
Tuesday – April 26 – Dallas – 5 pm – 1408 N Washington
Thursday – April 28 – Ft. Worth – 5 pm – 4750 Bryant Irvin Rd
Until next time, may God bless you, your family and our Union.
Bobby W. Reed