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Chief Minister must explain Evoenergy’s move to silence workers

Electrical Trades Union 2 mins read

The Electrical Trades Union has called on the ACT Chief Minister to intervene, after Evoenergy announced it would dock the pay of workers who wear campaign materials or inform the public or media about their struggle for a decent pay rise.

Despite the worst cost of living crisis in recent memory, the company made a pay offer which amounts to a paltry eight percent over three years, a significant cut to real wages. Annual inflation is running at six per cent. The ACT Government effectively owns 50 per cent of Evoenergy through its wholly owned subsidiary, Icon Water.

The ETU advised the company of a range of actions late last week, including wearing campaign badges and shirts, attaching campaign materials to emails and alerting the public to the need for a payrise that keeps pace with inflation.

But rather than listen to and respect its workforce, Evoenergy responded with an email to staff late on Friday warning that if they took part in activities as innocent as wearing a badge or talking to the media you will not receive any payment for the day, even if you perform other duties on the day.”

ETU NSW/ACT Secretary, Allen Hicks, said the Evoenergy’s conduct was unacceptable. “The company is seeking to bully and intimidate its workers for taking legally protected action which was supported by 90 percent in a ballot.

“The protected actions ETU members will take on Monday are about telling the public why workers are fighting for a reasonable pay rise that meets the cost of living. Evoenergy plans to punish workers for activities including wearing badges and having conversations while performing their regular duties.

“The ETU calls on the Chief Minister to intervene. Andrew Barr needs to explain to ACT residents why he is allowing a company which is half publicly owned to treat workers like this. None of the actions notified compromise energy security, supply or safety.

“ETU members will not be deterred by threats and intimidation. ETU members will continue fighting until they achieve a fair pay rise that is in line with the cost of living pressures.

Workers at the company took strike action on Tuesday, the first such action in many years.

Media contact:
Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

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