Union action takes state closer to power disruption
A threat to Victoria’s power supplies has moved closer following the successful application by the CFMEU to stage unlimited industrial action at AGL Loy Yang’s power station.
The Fair Work Commission has granted the CFMEU’s application for a ballot of its members on taking protected industrial action.
The Loy Yang workforce has twice rejected pay rises of more than 20 percent and generous conditions including job security in the face of growing uncertainty for the electricity generation sector in the Latrobe Valley.
AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Steve Rieniets said today any industrial action by the CFMEU could be met with “employer response action”.
“We have been negotiating with the CFMEU without progress for more than 15 months, they have twice rejected generous pay and conditions offers and now they want to disrupt the operations of one of Victoria’s major power generators,” Mr Rieniets said.
‘It concerns me that the CFMEU rejected a compromise deal recommended by the Fair Work Commission, and accepted by AGL Loy Yang, which would have resolved the dispute and, instead, are pursuing damaging and unnecessary industrial action,” he said.
“The energy industry in the Latrobe Valley faces increasing uncertainty around its future and this will only be made worse by the CFMEU pursuing union rhetoric ahead of its members’ best interests,” he said.
The Fair Work Commission has concluded the hearing for AGL Loy Yang’s application for the current Enterprise Agreement to be terminated. A decision is expected in coming weeks.
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.