People’s Utility District
The best option for PGE workers
The days of a local, independently owned Portland General Electric are no more. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Enron, PGE no longer controls its own future and will soon be auctioned off in federal bankruptcy court.
A People’s Utility District is the best way out of this mess for PGE workers as well as ratepayers because it means:
Stability for PGE workers
Of all the plans on the table, a PUD is the only option that guarantees existing union contracts and wages will be honored. Under state law (ORS 261.345) a PUD which acquires investor-owned utility property must:
• retain the existing workforce relating to the acquired territory;
• honor all existing collective bargaining agreements;
• provide all benefits to all employees (union and non-union) for at least one year; and
• recognize the collective bargaining unit. Additionally, a PUD must pay BOLI prevailing wages to all contractors and subcontractors at all times.
Neither the proposed Willamette Valley Power (WVP), nor the City of Portland would have to meet these requirements. In fact, both WVP and the City of Portland have strongly indicated that they will “outsource” the operation of the electric utility to the private sector should their plans prevail.
Employees would be eligible for PERS
Under a PUD, Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) will become an option for PGE workers. Among the best public retirement plans in the country, PERS will be a significant improvement for most PGE employees over their now depleted 401ks.
Lower electricity rates under a PUD
• No more multimillion dollar executives or shareholder profits to pay.
• Eligibility for BPA power at preferred rates only available to public power entities.
• The lowest purchase price for PGE assets when the PUD uses its power of eminent domain to buy PGE for “just compensation”, an amount determined by an Oregon jury, that takes into account the considerable investment ratepayers have already made in PGE facilities.
• No federal income taxes paid by a PUD.
Workers can elect their own bosses
A PUD is run by a board of five directors, elected by district. Workers can ensure that we have a progressive, pro-union Board through solidarity and political campaigning. With the WVP and City of Portland options we will not have that choice.
Oregon Public Power Coalition
818 SW 3rd Ave,PMB #1335;Portland,OR 97204-2405
Visit our website at:www.oppc.net
OPPC salutes all workers on Labor Day 2002
Public Power and the citizens of the Northwest pay special tribute to the many trades and crafts who built the dams in the Northwest, and the crews who have kept the lights on through storms and floods.
Oregon Public Power Coalition
Current coalition members include: Alliance for Democracy, Citizens for Clean Water, Citizens Interested in Bull Run, Democratic Socialists of America - Oregon, Friends of the Clackamas River, Oregon Grange, Pacific Green Party, Socialist Party, United Consumers of Oregon, Utility Reform Project