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Energy, Oil Mining Resources

Callide Power Station workers to hit the grass

Mining and Energy Union 2 mins read

Mining and Energy Union members at Callide Power Station near Biloela will begin taking industrial action this week as negotiations for a new enterprise agreement have dragged on.

In a ballot conducted earlier this month, MEU members voted strongly in favour of taking protected action in various forms including: 

  • Work stoppages 
  • Bans on overtime 
  • Reduction in production of megawatts 
  • Bans on the use of technology and devices in relation to work.

Queensland District Vice-President Shane Brunker said that workers are taking action for fair redundancy provisions and assurances around ongoing maintenance of the power station.

“With Callide Power Station slated to close in 2027, workers are seeking a fair agreement regarding redundancy provisions and career development opportunities. 

Mr Brunker said that in recent years CS Energy have deliberately promoted and used contractors rather than training existing permanent employees which would make them more attractive on the job market when the station closes.

“CS Energy are attempting to skirt their obligation to provide fair redundancy and training to transition their workers. Our members have had it and are ready to down tools for a fair go for them and their workmates. 

Yesterday a draft report into the May 2021 explosion that tore through Callide power station’s C4 Unit exposed a culture of poor risk management by operator CS Energy.

“We are concerned about how things are being run by management at Callide compared to neighbouring power stations including Stanwell Power Station and Tarong Power Stations.

“If you look back, for the last three to five years these stations have been able to run all of their units online and often at full load.

“Meanwhile at Callide they only have a maximum of 50% of their units online and at much less full load, along with a myriad of safety issues. The only reason that Callide can sometimes sell electricity is because of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Gladstone Power Station which isn’t managed by CS Energy.

“Our members are also feeling rattled about all the errors leading up to an explosion so strong that a 300kg piece of equipment ejected 50 plus metres into the air.

“We have consistently said that as power stations are being phased out, this cannot be used as an excuse to run them into the ground.  

“We are seeking guarantees from CS Energy and Government that they will be able to operate the power station safely to closure and fulfil their obligations to provide fair redundancy and training to transition their workers.”

The industrial action will kick off on Thursday and will escalate as necessary.

Contact details:

Monique Blasiak (0430 515 162)

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