A Labor Day Tribute to Utility Workers

Utility workers are caught between a totalitarian management and an increasingly angry public

Yes that’s right.   It’s Labor Day, and we would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the utility workers who keep the lights on for us, who brave difficult and dangerous conditions, and are often caught between authoritarian executives out of touch with reality and an increasingly hostile public who associates them with a ‘smart’ meter program gone horribly wrong.   Of course it’s not the guy up a pole who is making decisions about what level or radiation is safe for your children- those are the utility executives whose broken moral compasses apparently all point straight to the bank.

We’ve met a good many utility workers- meter readers, operators, maintenance workers- who are becoming alarmed at the way their companies are behaving.  The coming of the ‘smart’ meter means the loss of thousands and thousands of meter reader and support positions at a time when that’s the last thing we (or they) need.  Workers are losing their jobs now because utilities are trying to cut every expense and direct these funds to shareholder bank accounts.  That is where blame for this forced deployment should be directed- not at the guys in the blue trucks.

Having said all that, anyone who is employed to install ‘smart’ meters needs to check their conscience, given the harm that has been documented.    There are ‘smart’ meter installers who are undoubtedly good people and just don’t realize what they are doing, or haven’t researched the truth for themselves, believing what their bosses tell them.  In spite of that, the word is getting out.    Utilities are being forced to pay $50/ hr to installers in CA-  and they have to pay that because no one wants the work- no one wants to be yelled at and run out of a neighborhood and to try and sleep at night knowing you are radiating entire neighborhoods.  There are reports of truly gestapo type intimidation tactics on the part of installers, particularly in Texas, where reports of assault and forced installations have been reported (more to come on this).   However, the fact that utility executives and compliant legislators deserve more of the blame for these despicable tactics does not entirely excuse the individuals who were “just following orders.”

The following was sent by Toby and Ellen Cecil, who manage a 70 unit apartment complex in Marina, CA which they have been bravely defending from the ‘smart’ meter deployment.   The other day they had an illuminating conversation with a PG&E employee, and they wrote the following:

“The power company employees are–in our experience and for the most part–intelligent, hardworking people who have problems and needs just like you and we do.  They are working to put food on the table, gas in the tank and to make mortgage/rental payments just like the rest of us.

From our personal encounters over the past 6 months, we have learned that the PG&E employees are in meetings with the higher-ups where they are being fed disinformation in spades whilst being desensitized to the civil rights of others.

PG&E is committing, in our humble opinion, the “sin of omission” by NOT telling the whole story to their employees.

PG&E employees have the right to know the truth so they can search their consciences to see if they can live with themselves–hitting the pillow at night without guilt–knowing full well that they are bringing harm to their neighbors and their own families.

Another technician/field worker who came to our complex six months ago told us that in a big, important PG&E meeting, the employees were told, “Oh, well, if a house or two catches fire from a Smart Meter then that’s too bad.  That’s only a couple of houses.”

But what if that is YOUR house?

The PG&E employee we spoke with today knew nothing about the HAN (Home Area Network) and possible household rewiring due to the potential overload and subsequent fire hazards; the suspicious fires; health consequences of  RF; quadrupled plus bills; the fact that microwave is a military weapon and that these digital monstrosities are being called “Spy Meters” because that is what they are and that is what they do, i.e.,
SPY on you.

The employee told us he thought  it was reasonable for executives to make ten times that of a meter reader, but a hundred times his salary or more?  He said he felt that was unjust.

This man, we believe, expressed a sense of business ethics which is sorely lacking in the corporate world.  Surely there are many others like him.”

So today on Labor Day, let us appreciate the linemen and other employees of utility companies, the ones who DO care about your safety, who DO still have a sense of corporate ethics, and simply want to serve the community.  The ones hoping that they will be able to keep their jobs and continue to provide for their families.   Let’s join with them- with truth and justice on our side- and demand that we close this ugly chapter in our history- where utilities are forcibly blanketing a Class 2B Carcinogen throughout our communities, hurting vulnerable people.  Let’s unite with the utility workers, put a stop to this madness and make sure something like this never happens again.

This entry was posted in Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, PG&E, Privacy. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Labor Day Tribute to Utility Workers

  1. Jim says:

    Smart meters can’t be hacked! There’s no way! Hey I’m telling you…

    wait….

    Some big SECURITY company just got hacked and 500+ fraudulent security certificates were issued. Places like the CIA, MI6, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter, and WordPress, among others were at risk!

    So don’t worry about that little SLOW, LOW SPEED CPU inside your meter, it can’t let someone from outside turn off your power, monitor your usage, or in tandem with many other meters take down the local grid. Go back to watching TV, be a good little drone, do what you are told, smart meters are mandatory for all drones because we said so.

    Don’t worry, that encryption code inside that little small CPU is super safe! There’s only one of them on every corner! No one will be able to get one and back engineer it. How could that EVER happen?

    The power company is competent in these matters, they know things like power and ground, transformers and such super high tech things like coils of wire. So don’t worry about it, they know what they are doing!

    Oh, this “new” hack happened July 19 and is just now becoming known. DON’T WORRY – THEY HAVE IT ALL UNDER CONTROL!

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20101786-83/dutch-firm-linked-to-many-more-fraudulent-net-certificates/

    Get your notices mailed out now! https://stopsmartmeters.org/sample-letter-to-utility/

    Don’t just get on the “list” PUT THEM ON NOTICE! Make them know they will be liable!

  2. Jim says:

    These company employees that are simply there for PR really waste our time.

    One of the big reasons for smart meters in their opinion is that it will make the grid more reliable because they can tell where a outage is.

    Fact: Cable companies and phone companies have small boxes on power poles all over the place. They are powered by the grid.

    So, without using any neurons, I can see how they could tell the power company where the outages are, instantly. And without smart meters.

    Case closed. Power grid now more reliable and it didn’t cost ratepayers a dime!

    These same PR people are the ones that are so smart that they will tell you that they had to get a smart meter in order to understand that their electric clothes dryer sucks power like there’s no tomorrow. Only AFTER getting their smart meter they started to line dry their clothes outside!

    That’s the kind of employee that I want in charge of my private information, telling me my information is safe and secure while broadcasting it like a radio station, “customer privacy is our number one priority”, and running “secure” computers that “can’t be hacked”!

  3. Jim says:

    March 21, 2009 – CNN video
    “A security firm warns how easy it is to hack into a smart grid with an electrical background and $500 worth of equipment. The industry responds that they wouldn’t install bad equipment, but they actually have here in California.”

    “A New York utility spokesman tells CNN, “We are not going to manufacture this car without a seat belt,” but ignoring the auto industry’s record, there’s currently no privacy guarantees for the millions of smart meters being installed in California.”

    In the video they say that an attacker could use his “Hacked” 100’s of meters access to jack electricity demand up and down so dramatically that it could destabilize the local electric grid and take out power to potentially a large metropolitan area.

    Experts say that such a regional blackout would most certainly cascade to other systems, knocking them out too.

    turn.org/article.php?id=1091

    And the power company knew this way back then and is still installing these?

    criminal negligence – “recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury”

    What about putting a whole city at “risk” ? KNOWINGLY ?

    CEOs of power companies are not immune.

    I see no way that these “smart” meters can be SAFELY installed in mass quantities in ANY city anywhere. This has to STOP!

    This is more dangerous than you think!

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      The power grid in this country has not been upgraded yet, but PG&E has announced that they plan to start an upgrade after the meter project is completed.
      In Europe, they upgraded their power grid to being “smart” before they did the meters, that enabled them to utilize power line carrier technology (wired) for revenue collection systems in some areas.
      I read that a CIA security expert reported that these new power grids in other countries have been already compromised (hacked), and it could easily happen here even though we don’t have a smart grid yet, the meters could be hacked and cause big problems for revenue collection and concerns for the privacy of the customers.
      Encryption keys can be cracked, coders work tirelessly for months to hack codes.
      There was a big hack a few years ago that disabled all the ATM machines in this country. Very little on the mainstream corporate media news about it, but it cost the banksters billions of dollars. No doubt that the banks found a way to recoup their losses from their customers and us taxpayers.
      Yes, I appreciate all the workers who work very hard to keep our electricity on.
      Originally, there were around 900 meter readers in PG&E territory, and 22 in Marin county. Now with this new profiteering meter program, in Marin PG&E has eliminated about half of the meter readers, under pressure from the shareholders. But only a relatively small percentage of the new transmitting meters billing data is being received by the data collectors (mobile phone network) and relayed to the central office. The result is that the meter readers that are left here in Marin are required to work mandatory overtime, doubling up their routes and workload.
      I wonder what would happen if these stretched thin meter readers that are left went on strike or quit ? They might have to bring back William Deveraux to read meters, the job pays $29 per hour plus full benefits, so Ralph might just do it, it’s better than being unemployed.

  4. RobertWilliams says:

    MUST-SEE 4-minute youtube video on Smart meters:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8JNFr_j6kdI

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      I’ve seen that video, it’s pathetic. Just about everything he says is false, except that the new meters transmit usage data on RF.
      I could go on and on about the falsehoods of this video, but it would be a waste of time.
      If you believe this garbage, then you must believe anything that people post on the internet.
      Actually, videos like that hurt our movement against the new meters.

  5. I’m intrigued to hear you say that, Redi. What falsehoods?

  6. I think minivanjack accurately sums up the situation, in his own dramatic style.

    I’d love to see someone else make a video commentary on SmartMeters and get half a million hits in a month.

    What do you think of Alex Jones’ SmartMeter video?

    http://youtu.be/ppAM6zreVKw?t=1m14s

    do you think he’s hurting the cause?

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      No, Alex Jones is 100 percent right on in his rant.
      He did not go off and spout out misconceptions about the new meters, actually he really didn’t say much about the meter program at all, except that it is a ripoff.
      My opinion is that I agree with everything he said, and couldn’t have said it better myself.
      He mentions Yuppies who are so narccascistic that they won’t admit that they have been brainwashed and ripped off .
      Thanks for that great video Smarter Meters.
      At first, I said to myself, no more smart meter videos, based on most of them that I have viewed so far, but I figured I’d give this one a shot.
      This is a good video that sums up what is happening in the world with the corporate rule being promoted. It’s not so much about smart meters but the population being dumbed down and brainwashed. Sorry about any mis-spellings, but my spell check is not working at this site.

  7. Jim says:

    San Diego power outage, another example of how fragile the power grid really is. One little “bump” in power and the whole thing goes down. Stranding people in elevators, no gas pumps working, traffic lights out, schools closed.

    It won’t take much for some hacker to make that “bump” in power by switching 100’s of meters off and on over and over by remote from the convenience of his armchair.

    Here’s a list of 98 computer attacks, network intrusions, or data breaches listed on a spreadsheet because there are so many. This is for 5 months!

    news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20071830-245/keeping-up-with-the-hackers-chart/

    So don’t worry, your data and the grid are safe because the power company knows all about computers!

    Please check out the new example letter text that covers this. Make sure you put the power company and PUC on notice and let them know they will be liable!
    https://stopsmartmeters.org/sample-letter-to-utility/

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      That power outage in southern California was a typical example of the sad condition of our aging power grid in this country. Until they upgrade the power grid to being “smart”, we can expect more problems in the future.
      Actually the centralized distribution of electricity is partly the cause of the problems, and the deregulating of the industry made it worse.
      It’s great for the power corporations, now that they can wheel and deal power all over the country on aging transmission lines that were only designed for regional use, but the power grid was not really designed for that purpose.
      The problem this time originated in Arizona, they say it was an error made by people working on a switch in a substation, and then we have what they call the cascading effect. It knocked the San Onofre nuclear plant off line, so that made the outage larger.
      I have read reports that the power grid in this country is in deplorable condition, and more catastrophic outages will keep happening until we modernize the grid and/or decentralize the distribution systems.
      What bothers some of us the most, is that the corporations so far have influenced the government to proceed with the meter project first. The new meters won’t do a damn thing to upgrade the power grid, but was a clever way to make a bunch of money manufacturing, selling and installing millions of cheaply made meters that were very expensive to buy for the ratepayers.
      These meters were made in some countries where pay their workers in rice.
      Then , the government has the audacity to say that the new meters are the power grid !. And that these new meters will somehow save energy by having people buy expensive cheaply made appliances and automation systems (again , made in foreign countries by slave labor) that can show how much energy that they use. These Home Area Networks systems are not even working yet, but there are plenty of other automation systems that have been working fine for decades.
      This marketing campaign about the HAN’s is a joke in itself. Anyone with half a brain can read the rating plate which is required on ALL devices and appliances sold in this country that shows the current draw in amps, and the voltage required to operate it. It’s real simple math, even an elementary school student can easily see how much energy each appliance and device uses in their home.
      At least the power grid is safe from being hacked in this country, since everything is so archaic and antiquated and there is no interoperability between the nodes. That is what we should worry about, the power grid which is our generation and distribution infrastructure, not the meters.
      Customer usage data if allowed to fall into the wrong hands could hurt some people, but it is important to know that nobody will ever be able to determine what you are using your electricity for, only the total amount used, and now, not even what time that you use it unless one has an old Time of Use meter.
      The marketeers only know what kind of appliances and devices a customer has on purchases made with a credit card, or if they voluntarily give out personal information to the seller under the guise of “this is for your warranty”.
      Any cash purchases or bank deposits under $10,000 are not reported to the IRS. And law enforcement needs a search warrant to look at a customers electricity bills.
      Some people are paranoid about “the feds” finding out if people have a home business because of high electricity bills, but in my area, there are many wealthy households whose electricity bills are probably 10 times the average apartment dweller. Having a high electricity bill for a single family house is not a problem or a sign of illegal activity. And most apartments, condos and townhouses have very small main electrical services, and not much room to have very many 1000 watt HPS lights.

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