State hearing begins on AmerenUE rate case
#1 Mar 18, 2007
My bill for January increase 250% not just for electricty but for gas and my night light. Out of frustration, I called Ameren and told them to nix the night light. Three days later 3 JF Electric trucks, who subcontract for Ameren, pulled into my driveway to remove the light. I cannot imagine that 3 trucks were needed. That same evening a gentleman from Ameren called saying he had a disconnect for a night light but couldn't seem to find it. I told him that JF Electric had already been there that day to remove it. Good communications between Ameren and their subs. I wonder what the tab was on this disconnect. This would be laughable if it wasn't such a traumatic situation for people on fixed incomes. We have to stop big business from keeping the general public under their thumb. We need relief before rebellion becomes a possibility.
#2 Mar 19, 2007
Well Linda, if Ameren employees (instead of subs) would have been out to your house, it may have not taken 3 trucks to complete the disconnect. Ameren does use, since they bought AES, subs to meter read, locate leaks and services, and for various other reasons to save money. That was how they have been able to cut the workforce to minimal actual Ameren employees. On jobs there is just so far the subs can go before a Ameren crew shows up to check the subs work and to do the finishing. These employees of Ameren have been extensively trained in safety and they are the only ones authorized to finalize the process. The men/women do not like the work going to subs. They have tried to keep things going but the reduction in workforce has forced the need for subs as Ameren won't hire new people. It has affected the rank and file more than you can imagine. What Ameren has said is that they are going to kick the subs out as well as a huge amount of the Ameren employees. We are taking about people with over 20 years service to Cilco/AES/Ameren. Then the employees that are left will have to meter read, locate, daily maintenance and by far the most important respond to emergency situations promptly. In a department with 31 employees the layoff will leave 15 people with at least 1 retirement before summer. What the customer ends up with is a big bill coupled with really bad service that in many cases will be life and death situations. You are fortunate that you got your service disconnected before the shit hits the fan or it might have taken you months and you would be footing the bill the whole time. I do believe that we do need to stop big business from keeping the general public under their thumbs but the system as a whole needs to be re-constructed from the ground up. I can pay my bill although my bill showed only the 55% increase in the electric. I am just really concerned that Ameren will layoff and that the remaining employees will be forced (yes, forced) to work hours that were prohibited decades ago. I am concerned that my husband or another on the crew will make a mistake, because of fatigue, will cause my husband or one of his fellow workers to be in a grave. I am glad the ICC is stepping up and saying "wait just a minute Ameren".
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