Canberra electricity workers strike for fair pay
Canberra electricity company Evoenergy workers will be striking for fair pay, with ETU members walking off the job on Tuesday to fight for a fair pay deal.
According to ETU NSW/ACT branch secretary Allen Hicks, the company has offered a 9.5% pay rise over three years but the deal is worth less than that. Allen says “management’s offer will reduce the value of workers’ take-home pay” and that the protest will send Evoenergy “a clear message that they will not accept a cut to their real wages”.
“The 9.5% offer is actually worth just 8% because the company wants to deny workers 1.5% in superannuation that every other Australian worker will get. It would leave Evoenergy employees on the lowest superannuation of any electricity distributor in NSW or the ACT.
“Inflation was 5.6% to May in this year alone. We’ve had 12 interest rate hikes and huge cost pressures on every front. ETU members are simply asking for a pay rise consistent with the cost of living. It’s unfortunate that we’ve been forced to take industrial action to achieve that very reasonable demand.”
More than 90% of ETU members who voted in a protected action ballot had supported the industrial action. Around 200 ETU members will stop working at Evoenergy’s Greenway depot between 10am and 2pm on Tuesday, 25 July to protest.
Allen says Tuesday’s strike, the first in many years at Evoenergy, was just the start unless the company was willing to compromise.
“The ETU calls on the directors of Evoenergy to tell Evoenergy management to get back to the negotiating table and offer real wage increases consistent with the cost of living,” he says.
“Until that happens, ETU members at Evoenergy will continue to take industrial action to achieve our reasonable demands for wages that meet the soaring costs that our members face.”
The union said that members were committed to protecting community safety during the industrial action and would be available for emergency and unplanned work where there was an imminent risk to the public.