AGL Loy Yang threatens Victoria’s power supply

Published: 3 Nov 2016

The CFMEU Mining and Energy Division is calling on AGL to stop threatening Victoria’s power supply and immediately bargain in good faith to resolve the impasse in its Latrobe Valley dispute.

CFMEU M&E Victorian District Secretary, Geoff Dyke said that while the union has consistently sought to maintain jobs in Latrobe Valley, AGL’s approach has been to slash them, despite their underlying profit of $701 million, while domestic electricity bills are on the rise on the back of its consumers and workers.

“Since October 2015 AGL has refused to genuinely bargain with the CFMEU, ETU, ASU, PA and other bargaining representatives. AGL has not met with unions outside of the Fair Work Commission since February this year and is currently seeking to terminate the existing Enterprise Agreement,” said Mr Dyke.

“If the Commission grants AGL’s termination application workers would have their pay and lifetime superannuation savings cut by around 65 percent,, while at the same time AGL CEO, Andy Vesey reported a salary of almost $7 million last year.

“During the bargaining process, as recognised by the Commission, the CFMEU has already offered’30-40 major concessions’ to AGL to try to reach an agreement, but AGL refuses to negotiate, instead they want to cut jobs and major entitlements.

“To that end, the Commission has recognised the workers can take protected action after ruling “the CFMEU has been and is genuinely trying to reach agreement with AGL Loy Yang” and contrast to AGL’s contentions otherwise.”

“So far, AGL’s only advice is that they intend to ‘lock out the entire site’, even non-striking workers if industrial action takes place. This is clear evidence AGL has no interest in standing up for Victorians and their power supply.”

Some of AGL Loy Yang’s demands include:

  • Increasing the working week by 1.5 hours,
  • Cutting superannuation by 2.5 percent,
  • Cutting long service leave by 33 percent,
  • Substantial cuts to annual leave,
  • Eliminating paid maternity leave,
  • Removing injured worker make-up pay,
  • Removing the requirement for agreed shift rosters,
  • Putting workers onto employment contracts, and
  • Unlimited forced redundancies.

“The earliest possible industrial action cannot and will not occur until 9 December, therefore we call on AGL to take this opportunity to bargain with workers in good faith. They owe it to the workers, they owe it to the Latrobe Valley community and they owe it to their consumers. 

“The CFMEU gives Victorian’s an assurance that our actions will not threaten powers supplies and we challenge AGL to provide that same assurance,” said Mr Dyke.