Last Tuesday the Essential Energy ETU negotiating team had a conference call. During this call the ongoing dispute around negotiations was discussed and your negotiating team was provided with an update from our legal team, in particular lawyers from Slater and Gordon.
Based on the current state of negotiations your negotiating team endorsed plans for an extended work stoppage using twenty 4 hour stoppages to provide for a continuous 80 hour strike period. This decision was then taken to ETU delegates from across the state on a telephone town hall after which your workplace delegates responded by text message further endorsing and indicating high levels of support for the proposed 80 hour protected action.
ETU members across the company expressed a strong desire that the next round of action should include all ETU members from across the whole company including control rooms and those rostered as on-call.
Last night the ETU, on behalf of members, notified Essential Energy of our intention to stop work for a continuous period of 80 hours commencing at 10pm on Monday 23 May concluding at 6am Friday 27 May covering all CEPU (ETU) members in all Essential Energy locations.
We understand that this a significant escalation in action however based on feedback from members this is exactly what is needed – a decisive move that will force Essential Energy’s hand. This action was only endorsed after extensive discussion and was not arrived at lightly.
The ETU has provided management with almost two weeks’ notice and while they will complain about the lack of coverage, if this management team was any good they would be able to address their own concerns within this timeframe.
This is not likely to be the end of this matter. After providing notice last night, the 80-hour strike issue will develop over coming days and we will keep you informed of any developments.
As I stated in my last notice – the secure jobs, pay and conditions that you enjoy today were not simply given to you by generous bosses. ETU members that have gone before you had to endure the same struggles to secure what you enjoy today. It is now our responsibility to protect this for both current and future workers.
We will prevail in this dispute but only if ETU members at Essential Energy across the state make the conscious decision to stick together. If we don’t stick together, you will hand Humphries and Mike Baird the victory they are so desperate to secure while coming off second best.
Times are tough, if you have any questions please talk to your workplace delegate or your ETU organiser.
Yours in unity