The majority of AGL Loy Yang employees have voted against an Enterprise Agreement (EA) recommended by the Fair Work Commission, in a secret ballot conducted over the past week.

The result of the ballot was 367 (69.25 percent) against the offer and 163 (30.75 percent) for it. More than 50 percent workforce support was required for the EA to be approved.

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Steve Rieniets, said the outcome was extremely disappointing for the business given the EA, proposed by the Fair Work Commission, was an impartial middle-ground solution that retained AGL Loy Yang’s generous pay and conditions.

“The ‘no’ vote brings only uncertainty and the risk of negative outcomes and disruption for our business, our employees, our customers and the community,” Mr Rieniets said.

“It is hard to fathom why, in these tight economic times with huge challenges facing the energy industry, the CFMEU would have encouraged its members to reject a pay rise of more than 20 percent over four years, generous superannuation entitlements and a guarantee of no forced redundancies. 

“All this vote achieves is uncertainty and a high risk of industrial disruption that could put Victorian energy supplies at risk. It also means that employees face the potential for a significant loss of pay and conditions should this matter be ultimately arbitrated or our application to terminate the existing Agreement be successful.

“This outcome further entrenches outdated union ideology and in this case goes against common sense. 

“Regrettably we have exhausted all avenues of negotiation with the CFMEU and as a last resort AGL will continue with our application to terminate the existing Agreement at a Fair Work Commission hearing from 17-20 October 2016,” said Mr Rieniets.

If the application is successful, the existing Agreement would no longer apply and employment conditions for the people covered by it would revert to the relevant modern Award (Electrical Power Industry Award 2010) after three months.

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.