Letters to the Editor

Sale of Oncor; union dues; poor presidential choices

Billy Rains with Oncor replaces a line fuse on Winscott Road in Benbrook after lightning strikes interrupted power during the rain storm last year.
Billy Rains with Oncor replaces a line fuse on Winscott Road in Benbrook after lightning strikes interrupted power during the rain storm last year. Star-Telegram

Sale of Oncor

I disagree with the praise you gave the Public Utility Commission of Texas over its handling of the proposed sale of Oncor.

You failed in the March 4 editorial (“PUC meeting its regulatory mission on Oncor deal”) to recognize that industry-friendly commissioners are rubber-stamping the deal with few concessions to consumers.

The PUC could do more to protect ratepayers, like rejecting the takeover of Oncor by Wall Street speculators or at least requiring a substantially better outcome for customers.

As it is, customers throughout North Texas are getting crumbs.

The editorial praised the PUC for being “thoughtfully balanced” at its March 3 meeting in Austin. But customers were told that two of the three commissioners want customers to get an undefined portion of a big tax windfall now going entirely to investors. That’s a weak promise for customers and not worthy of high praise.

The sale of Oncor could leave the utility at risk of imposing rate hikes. Older people especially need assurances that Oncor won’t jack up utility bills or have difficulties restoring power after a storm.

The PUC should have taken a stronger stand for consumers, and the Star-Telegram should hold the agency more accountable for protecting the public’s interest.

Billie M. Waite, Fort Worth

Union dues

In reference to the Thursday commentary about unions by John Patrick, I disagree with one of his statements, on which I have personal knowledge.

He claimed in the piece (“Attack on unions is no less than an attack on democracy”) that no one in Texas has to join a union or pay dues.

From January 1980 until January 2001, I was an employee of American Airlines and a member of the Transport Workers Union. Union membership was mandatory upon accepting the job.

From January 1980 until April 1984, I was on a part-time status. The union dues were deducted from our paychecks. Because I sometimes didn’t work during a pay period, there was no paycheck to deduct dues from.

I was contacted by our local president and told that failure to pay union dues was cause for termination. After that, I made sure my dues were paid, even if they were from other work that I did. Patrick should be a bit more truthful or check the reliability of his sources.

While I was quite junior in seniority, TWU took several actions that were costly to me. When I became quite senior, the rules swung around to my favor. This led me to believe that unions were there to protect the senior workers, not all members.

Thurman Chamblee Jr., Fort Worth

Poor choices

One wonders how anyone would consider voting for either Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

If either is elected, those voting for the winner will come to regret it.

Paul Gabel,

Fort Worth