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Press Statement Unfairly Associates WAPA with Alleged Violations of Territory's Labor Laws

(Thursday, May 28, 2015)

WAPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TAKES ISSUE WITH NEWS RELEASE FROM

LICENSING AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT;

 

PRESS STATEMENT UNFAIRLY ASSOCIATES WAPA WITH ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF TERRITORY’S LABOR LAWS

          Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Executive Director / CEO Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. today reacted with disappointment at the contents of a news release issued late Wednesday afternoon by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) regarding alleged violations by the “WAPA propane project subcontractor.”

            Hodge said Wednesday evening that it is truly unfortunate that WAPA has been named in association with the alleged violations purported to stem from an investigation led by the Department of Labor. “The Water and Power Authority has been placed in a position of having to respond to a convoluted statement by DLCA that prominently associates the Authority with the violations and cites the Labor Department’s investigative report but fails to ever identify the “subcontractor”. The fact is, WAPA has no subcontractors for this project. Further, while WAPA was named throughout the news release in association with the violations and a suggestion was made by DLCA that the public utility is somehow responsible, WAPA has yet to have been afforded the final investigative report for review or response,” he said.

            As he has in the past when a similar claim was made publically, Hodge said that WAPA has one contract with VITOL, the firm tasked to carry out the propane conversion projects in both island districts. “There is specific language in the contract between WAPA and VITOL that requires the company to comply with all local laws, which include labor laws. WAPA does not hire for VITOL nor does it regulate or oversee any aspect of its day to day operations. The attempt by the DLCA to place WAPA in a negative light with alleged violations committed by a subcontractor that clearly has no ties to the Authority is truly unfortunate and can at best be interpreted as suspect,” Hodge said.

 

           

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