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Report: Linemen in Puerto Rico paid $63/hour; Company billing $319/hour

Report: Linemen in Puerto Rico paid $63/hour; Company billing $319/hour

  • LAKELAND, Fla. — Senior Lakeland Electric linemen helping rebuild the power grid in Puerto Rico are being paid $63 per hour.
  • However, the company Whitefish Energy is billing Puerto Rico’s public power company, known as Prepa, $319 per hour for linemen, according to a New York Times report.
  • The small, Montana-based company Whitefish Energy has been called into question after it won a $300 million contract to restore power in Puerto Rico.
  • Lakeland Electric linemen, as well as others from across Florida, left for Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Maria hit the island.
  • The $63 per hour rate is normal for a senior linemen, a Lakeland Electric spokesperson said.

Whitefish Energy's contract has been called into question

LAKELAND, Fla. — Senior Lakeland Electric linemen helping rebuild the power grid in Puerto Rico are being paid $63 per hour. However, the company Whitefish Energy is billing Puerto Rico’s public power company, known as Prepa, $319 per hour for linemen, according to a New York Times report.

The small, Montana-based company Whitefish Energy has been called into question after it won a $300 million contract to restore power in Puerto Rico. The controversial contract has been cancelled, but it will remain in place through November.

Lakeland Electric linemen, as well as others from across Florida, left for Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The $63 per hour rate is normal for a senior linemen, a Lakeland Electric spokesperson said. A $319 per hour rate is extremely high.

10News has reached out to Whitefish Energy for comment and to confirm the $319 figure, but has not heard back. A spokesman told the New York Times, “Simply looking at the rate differential does not take into account Whitefish’s overhead cost. We have to pay a premium to entice the labor to come to Puerto Rico to work.”

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Report: Linemen in Puerto Rico paid $63/hour; Company billing $319/hour

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