AGL Loy Yang has welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s intervention w ith alleged illegal unprotected industrial action by the CFMEU which threatened operations at the power plant.
The Commission has yesterday issued an interim order forcing the CFMEU and members of the Loy Yang workforce back to work.
AGL Loy Yang lodged a Section 418 application with the Commission on Saturday 9 July after struggling for over four days to fill the roster to adequately staff the power station. Inability to fully staff the station has only occurred one other time, in 2013, which was also related to an issue with a CFMEU delegate.
The alleged unprotected industrial action has taken place about a week after the Commission, in an historic ruling, dismissed the CFMEU’s Protected Action Ballot Order application on the grounds that it was “not satisfied the CFMEU has been and is genuinely trying to reach agreement” with AGL Loy Yang.
AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Steve Rieniets, said he was extremely disappointed with the disruption.
“Millions of Victorians rely upon AGL Loy Yang for reliable mid-Winter power supplies and generation must continue unimpeded.
“We have been negotiating a new Enterprise Agreement for almost a year and are currently participating in a conciliation process with the CFMEU with the assistance of the Commission, in the hope of coming to an agreement.
“We are seeking an agreement that balances the long-term interests of the AGL Loy Yang business, its employees, the community, and electricity customers. That process has been frustrated by a series of unrealistic claims by unions that add unnecessary costs, reduce productivity and further restrict how the business is run,” said Mr Rieniets.
Commissioner Clancy will hear further evidence at a hearing this Thursday, before making a ruling on whether the CFMEU and other members have taken unprotected industrial action.
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.