Essential Energy to cut regional workforce

Essential, COVID-19

Essential Energy has confirmed plans to cut jobs across its regional New South Wales workforce.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) says the figure will be around 165 workers, and Essential workers will be “pitted against each other in a Hunger Games style fight for jobs”.

Reports have stated workers from Essential Energy’s 100 regional depots could be at risk, but the company has privately informed workers at the Port Macquarie, Grafton Taree, Bathurst and Lismore regions the cuts would be occurring.

Electrical Trades Union National Industry Coordinator Matt Murphy warned the NSW Liberal-National Government was pursuing “privatisation by stealth”.

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“The infrastructure is in public hands but there are fewer employees with more and more work being done by the private sector, which will see profits will come first,” he said.

“That means the number of private contractors and costs goes up while the quality and timeliness of maintenance goes down.

“With 11.5 per cent being slashed from Essential networks over the next five years we know there will be less construction, upgrades will be shelved and infrastructure replacement will put off into the distant future.”

Essential Energy says it’s committed to maintaining downward pressure on the network component of electricity pricing by adopting new technologies, improving the way they do business, and achieving operational efficiencies while ensuring a safe, reliable service for their customers.

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“Over the next three to five years, Essential Energy will progress a series of programs and initiatives to deliver a better service at lower cost,” a spokesperson for Essential Energy said.

“As we drive efficiencies in our business, we will also be ensuring that we have the right size workforce across our service territory.

“These changes will allow us to continue to deliver the high quality of service our customers want at a lower cost. All employees affected by the changes will be fully supported through the transition.”