1000 NSW energy workers walk off job

Electrical Trades Union (ETU)

Thursday, 08 February, 2024

More than 1000 workers from energy generator Transgrid and distributor Endeavour Energy are striking for 24 hours while calling for a pay rise in line with inflation.

From 9.30 am, Thursday, 8 February, Electrical Trades Union members are rallying at Parramatta Square for a wage deal that keeps pace with the living costs that have skyrocketed since the pandemic.

The ETU reported that at Endeavour Energy, wages have risen 10.5% since 2019 while inflation is up 18%. At Transgrid, wages have only increased 8% over the same period. In contrast, Endeavour Energy’s corporate overhead costs are in excess of 400% for the same period, the ETU said.

“These privatised energy operators are raking it in, while workers’ pay has plummeted in real terms,” said ETU NSW/ACT Secretary Allen Hicks.

“Workers simply cannot afford to keep going backwards. Pay rises have moved at half the rate of inflation. Take home pay is shrinking.”

The protected industrial action will push out the companies’ maintenance backlog and disrupt operations, including at Transgrid’s 900 km, $2.3 billion electricity interconnector, EnergyConnect.

“We’ll continue ramping up industrial action until these bosses agree to sit down and agree to a pay deal that recognises the surging cost of living,” Hicks said.

“The deal we are after for members will help energy workers catch up. Inflation is coming under control, and workers need a fair go.”

Endeavour Energy operates the electrical network from Ulladulla in the NSW Shoalhaven region up to Waterfall and western Sydney. It is partly privatised, with the NSW Government retaining a 49.6% stake. Transgrid was privatised in 2015. Its largest owners are the Utilities Trust of Australia, Spark Infrastructure and Tawreed Investments.

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