Industrial action threatens to disrupt transmission projects

Enormous cranes pump concrete into foundations for one of EnergyConnect's major substations (industrial action)
Image: Transgrid

Crucial renewable energy and power transmission projects worth billions of dollars will be hit with major industrial action on Friday as Electrical Trades Union NSW members at Transgrid ramp up demands for fair pay.

The industrial action will include a one-hour stoppage of all ETU members along with six indefinite work bans by control room staff.

Related article: ETU alleges “major safety breaches” at EnergyConnect sites

Transgrid operations will be disrupted across the board, including the nation’s largest transmission project, EnergyConnect.

Planned maintenance work and power outages will also be affected by the industrial action.
“A whopping 83% of all Transgrid employees rejected the company’s substandard pay offer,” ETU NSW & ACT secretary Allen Hicks said.

“Transgrid is hopelessly out of touch with its workers who are simply seeking a pay rise that helps them keep up with the soaring cost of living,” he said.

“Transgrid can easily afford to pay its workers properly yet refuses to, despite a massive pipeline of lucrative work.”

A Transgrid spokesperson said, “Transgrid’s priorities at all times are to ensure the safety and welfare of our people, our customers and the broader community, while maintaining a safe and reliable network for the more than eight million people who rely on our services everyday.

“The industrial action will not impact our ability to effectively operate the network.

Related article: Massive synchronous condensers arrive for EnergyConnect

“We remain fully committed to providing fair and reasonable remuneration and benefits to all of our employees and we believe the current enterprise agreement, which includes a 13% rise in wages and superannuation over three years, taking the superannuation to 16.5%, as well as numerous other benefits, is both fair and reasonable.

“Negotiations with bargaining representatives will recommence on 15 January and Transgrid looks forward to reaching an agreement with unions and employees as soon as possible.”

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