Power workers have welcomed an announcement by NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean that he will issue a directive to publicly-owned electricity distributor Essential Energy ordering a halt to plans to slash 182 regional jobs.
The Electrical Trades Union has been fighting the planned cuts, offering a range of alternate savings measures that don’t require the loss of skilled jobs in the bush or result in reduced services for consumers.
ETU assistant secretary Ben Lister congratulated Mr Kean on the intervention, but also praised the efforts of Deputy Premier John Barilaro and many of his Nationals colleagues who have been fighting to save the jobs.
“Our members could not be happier with the announcement that these job cuts have been halted, and Energy Minister Matt Kean and Deputy Premier John Barilaro deserve genuine praise for their efforts to find a solution that could keep these regional workers employed,” Mr Lister said.
“At a time when communities are doing it tough with drought and a slowing economy, news that one of the largest employers in regional NSW was planning to slash 182 jobs was a devastating blow.
“Since 2012, Essential Energy has nearly halved its workforce, with local communities feeling the pain as wages were removed from local economies and families were forced to move away looking for work.
“As a 100 per cent publicly-owned company, Essential Energy has an obligation to act in the best interests of the communities they serve, which means considering the broader impacts of cuts to jobs and services.
“The Energy Minister’s announcement today provides certainty for workers who had been facing this first round of job cuts, but our fight is far from over given Essential Energy still has plans on the table to slash another 500 jobs — one in every five regional workers — by 2024.
“We will continue to work with the company, the NSW Government, and local MPs to find alternative options that can deliver cost savings and new revenue streams rather than seeing jobs lost.”
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Power workers welcome Energy Minister directive ordering halt to Essential Energy job cuts
Peter Moss - Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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