ETU takes industrial action at AGL Loy Yang, raising ongoing risk of power supply threat

AGL Loy Yang today confirmed that members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) this morning took protected industrial action, in the form of a one hour stop-work, at the Loy Yang mine.

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Steve Rieniets said: “As a consequence of that action having been taken, AGL Loy Yang is concerned that the ETU and its members are now entitled to take unlimited industrial action of the kinds authorised by its Protected Action Ballot with only three working days’ notice.”  

“This is a very significant escalation of the bargaining dispute.  Three working days’ notice does not allow enough time, should it be necessary, to safely wind down the power station. 

“It is unacceptable to AGL Loy Yang for this bargaining dispute to not only be unresolved, but now escalated in this way after more than 18 months of negotiations. Workers have twice rejected generous pay rises of more than 20 percent, preservation of generous work benefits and job security in the form of no forced redundancies.

“We now face the prospect of further industrial action which, depending on its nature, might be highly damaging to our capacity to operate the Loy Yang mine in a safe way, and might therefore threaten our ability to maintain power supply from the station which could have impacts on the wider community,” Mr Rieniets said.

AGL is currently considering all of its options including employer response action as authorised under the Fair Work Act.  AGL Loy Yang supplies 50% of Victoria’s energy fuel, so if it is not operating at a time of high demand during hot weather, Victoria could be without power.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.