Media release | Friday 15 September 2023
Electrical Trades Union members at Evoenergy have endorsed new work bans that reach into the company’s strategically important control room.
The new actions were endorsed by more than 90 per cent of workers who voted in the protected action ballot.
Until now, ETU actions have included switching bans which disrupt and delay planned maintenance.
The escalation to the control centre is unprecedented and means employees will now have the capacity to take legally protected, high impact action in the nerve centre of the network.
The protracted dispute has now run more than seven weeks, making it one of the longest in recent ACT history.
Despite the workforce enduring the worst cost of living crisis in recent memory, the company’s pay offer has barely improved and given they aren’t flowing on the legislated superannuation increase, still amounts to a paltry eight percent over three years, a significant cut to real wages.
The most recent financial reports of Evoenergy’s publicly owned, 50 per cent owner Icon, show it can afford a decent increase. Evoenergy delivered $119 million in profit to Icon in the 2022 financial year statement compared to only $26 million the previous year. This means the total profit for Evoenergy was $238 million, up from $52 million the previous year. It paid $83 million in dividends, as compared to $19 million in dividends the previous year.
ETU NSW/ACT Secretary, Allen Hicks, said Evoenergy’s conduct was despicable. “Evoenergy can not cry poor. It is rolling in profits,” Hicks said. "These hardworking men and women work difficult, unpredictable hours to give the ACT a reliable energy supply, yet Evoenergy wants to shrink their take home pay.
Customer outage times and the frequency of customer outages has decreased across the Evoenergy network since 2017, through the great work of ETU members employed by Evoenergy delivery significant efficiency gains to Evoenergy.
“We never take industrial action lightly, but we are determined to hold Evoenergy to account and secure a decent deal that meets the cost of living.
“It’s preposterous that a company that is effectively publicly owned thinks it can show such contempt for its workforce."
Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032
Georgie Moore 0477 779 928