AGL pleased with FWC order for unions to cease unprotected action
AGL Loy Yang is pleased by today’s decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to issue orders requiring members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s (CFMEU) to cease unprotected action at our Loy Yang operations in Victoria. The order took effect from 2.30pm today, Wednesday 18 January 2017.
AGL Loy Yang was forced to make an application to the FWC seeking these orders in response to Loy Yang operations staff not making themselves available for work. These staff actions, which AGL alleged constituted unprotected action including increased absenteeism and staff not being available for overtime, resulted in AGL Loy Yang not being able to run at full capacity over the past six days.
AGL Loy Yang General Manager Steve Rieniets said: “We are very pleased that this matter has now been resolved. As the hot weather continues and industry starts up again after the holiday break demand on the system is going to increase. Our priority is to safely and securely meet the electricity needs of our customers and support the security of supply across the NEM.
“We continue to focus on the negotiating a new enterprise agreement, which will give certainty to AGL Loy Yang, our employees and the community and enable AGL to operate under a more modern agreement facilitating greater flexibility and efficiencies.
We remain hopeful of reaching a new agreement,” said Mr Rieniets.
The interruptions to AGL Loy Yang's business were most significant yesterday, when on a day of extreme heat across all states, AGL Loy Yang was forced to start the day running at 50 percent capacity with only two of the four units available. This was due to 30 percent of available staff calling in sick or not being available for overtime. Under the current Enterprise Agreement there is a minimum staffing requirement and if this is not met a unit cannot be run or returned to service.
AGL has been negotiating with the unions at Loy Yang for more than 18 months. The current situation is the result of union members working at AGL’s Loy Yang twice rejecting generous pay rises of more than 20 percent and the preservation of generous work benefits.
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.