21 | JUL | 2019
Mexico’s CFE spent USD$80.2 million on free electricity for workers
This job benefit dates back 45 years and was agreed upon “in the first collective contract signed for the period 1974-1976" - Photo: Jorge Alvarado/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexico’s CFE spent USD$80.2 million on free electricity for workers

02/04/2019
13:17
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
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Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) gives away 350 kwh per month to each of its workers

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has taken the habit of giving away electric power to its employees, which has resulted in a significant expense.

The state owned company gave away the equivalent of MXN$1.54 billion to 14,319 trusted employees and 58,101 unionized workers in 2018 as part of the 67th clause of the current collective contract between the CFE and the Single Electric Workers Union of the Mexican Republic (SUTERM).

The document establishes employee benefits such as the equivalent of 350 kwh per month of free electricity supply for each worker.

The CFE’s Labor Relations Management revealed that in January this year, the disbursement of electricity delivered for free amounted to MXN$132.6 million.

This job benefit dates back 45 years and was agreed upon “in the first collective contract signed for the period 1974-1976,” though there are records of similar benefits since the dawn of Mexico’s electricity industry, according to the state company through their website.

A similar situation transpired in the now-defunct Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LyFC), which also gave away 350 kwh per month to its employees through a contract signed for the period 2000-2001.

The amount of electric power given for free to all 72,420 CFE employees is enough for one household per worker, regardless of the number of people living therein.

Furthermore, the electricity spent by CFE workers is similar to overall power consumption in some Mexico City boroughs such as Magdalena Contreras, which registered 67,498 households; twice as much as Milpa Alta, with 35,905 households; Zumpango, with 73,918; Huixquilucan, 70,945; the Santa Catarina municipality in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, with 78,284, and Oaxaca de Juárez, with 68,692, according to the National Housing Commission (CONAVI).

As of today, according to information provided by the company’s accounting and management department via the National Transparency Platform, nearly four out of every 10 CFE workers receive this support in cash while the rest receive it in kind as electricity for their households.

In 2018, for instance, MXN$582.5 million were delivered in cash as part of the employee benefit included in the 67th clause of the contract.

Another MXN$966.28 million were spent on electric power for up to 350 kwh a month for company workers.

However, this does not include all 49,233 retired employees who still receive this benefit, even though their contract establishes that “said service will not be included in the workers’ pensions.”

The 67th clause of the collective contract establishes that the electric power provided will be for the worker’s household exclusively and cannot be resold or used by third parties or for commercial purposes.
 

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