Essential Energy workers warn management of plans to strike

ESSENTIAL Energy workers will go on strike next week in response to management's plans to impose a new workplace agreement, which unions say will lead to 800 regional jobs being axed, including 60 jobs on the North Coast.

Work stoppages will take place on Thursday, between 9am and 1pm, at depots including Lismore, Ballina, Casino, Ewingsdale, Murwillumbah, Tenterfield and Tweed Heads.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has formally notified management at Essential Energy about the stoppages and a series of temporary work bans.

Essential Energy employees last month voted to take industrial action in support of a new enterprise agreement.

ETU secretary Steve Butler said workers at more than 100 depots, control rooms and other workplaces would take part in the strikes.

"If Essential Energy gets its way, not only will redundancy provisions, redeployments, and salary maintenance conditions be threatened, but wages would be cut and almost a thousand regional jobs would be immediately slashed," he said.

"Workers simply refuse to take that kind of unprecedented attack lying down, and are determined to defend jobs and services in their communities across NSW."

Union members will return to depots in the event of an emergency.

Workers will also implement a series of periodic bans on particular types of work, such as communicating with contractors or completing paperwork not related to workplace safety.



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