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Union, Utilities

Hundreds of Transgrid sparkies take second 24-hour strike for fair pay

ETU NSW 2 mins read

Hundreds of Electrical Trades Union members working for Transgrid will down tools for 24 hours in a fight for wages that match the high cost of living. 

 

The union warns that Friday’s protected industrial action will push out Transgrid’s maintenance backlog and disrupt operations, including to the already troubled Project EnergyConnect - Australia’s largest energy transmission project.

 

It’s the union’s second 24-hour work stoppage in about a month as tensions boil over Transgrid’s tightfistedness. 

 

ETU NSW and ACT Secretary Allen Hicks said the strike means any faults on Transgrid’s high voltage transmission network won’t be fixed, risking outages in NSW and the ACT. 

 

“Transgrid would rather risk the integrity of the high voltage transmission network and create delays on critical projects than pay its workers a decent wage,” Mr Hicks said.

 

“Day in, day out, our members power our schools, hospitals, workplaces and homes by maintaining the backbone of the electricity system. But their hard work is met with inadequate compensation and abysmal pay offers. 

 

“Our electrical workers are indispensable amidst a national skills shortage in the energy transmission sector. As Australia works towards net zero, Transgrid’s tightfistedness threatens to drive out more tradies and slow down the renewable energy transition.

 

“This is a majority foreign-owned company that continues to lowball its Australian workers, and then send massive profits offshore. 

 

“Transgrid must do the decent thing and pay its essential workforce a decent salary. We can’t live without our tradies, but our tradies can’t afford the cost of living.

 

“We won’t stop industrial action until Transgrid pays its electrical workers what they’re worth.”

 

The ETU will ensure any life threatening emergencies are responded to during this strike consistent with safety commitments we have given. 

 

Background:

  • Bargaining has been going on since October 2023.

  • Nearly 400 members will participate in the 24-hour work stoppage.

  • Other protected actions will include bans on locking (e.g. locking/unlocking padlocks, substations), and bans on use of Transgrid credit cards to purchase goods and services for the company. 

  • ETU members are seeking a pay rise of 8 per cent per year over three years in their new agreement. 

  • Transgrid’s offer falls short, proposing 5 per cent in year one, followed by 4 per cent in the following two years. 


Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301

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