Essential Energy jobs – disappointing response from Deputy Premier John Barilaro
The Electrical Trades Union is disappointed that Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced today he has failed to make any headway in protecting regional jobs at Essential Energy.
The ETU expected firmer action on protecting the jobs of front-line workers across regional NSW.
The Nationals failing to enforce government policy and protect Essential Energy jobs will see the company continue with is devastating plan to slash one in five regional positions by 2024. The cuts will see an additional 500 workers lose their jobs on top of the 182 that Essential Energy last month announced would be cut from their workforce this year.
ETU Secretary Justin Page reminds National Party MPs that they have made many promises to save Essential Energy jobs, but once again are failing to live up to that commitment, providing empty rhetoric to these regional workers whose livelihoods are on the line.
“We expected the Nationals to be able to deliver on saving Essential Energy jobs. This lack of progress raises questions about the authority of the Nationals in this government,” Mr Page said.
“We welcome John Barilaro talking tough about Essential Energy CEO John Cleland by saying, if anyone’s job should go it should be that of the CEO.”
“But at the same time, John Barilaro’s statement today says that ‘this state-owned corporation refuses to comply with government policy’ – the Nationals need to toughen up. And the Liberals need to deliver. This is simply not acceptable, allowing the Essential Energy CEO to walk over them and defy their policy of protecting jobs.
“We are talking about communities doing it tough in the drought and job losses in our regions are just devastating.”
The ETU points to recent comments from the National Party on Essential Energy jobs, revealing just how much the Nationals have failed to deliver for these workers –
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW
Port Macquarie News, 4 July 2019
"Even though Essential Energy is a corporatised entity that reports to a board, I have been abundantly clear about the need for everyone to be doing their part and rallying around regional communities battling the worst drought on record.”
"Essential Energy needs to be transparent about any planned decision around their regional workforce.”
"This morning I have summoned the CEO of Essential Energy to a meeting to explain this decision.”
"I also expect Essential Energy to provide a briefing to all affected regional MP's about any forced job cuts."
Media Release, 4 July 2019
“I am calling for an immediate to stop to any decision by Essential Energy to carry out planned job cuts in the regions.”
“Even though Essential Energy is a corporatised entity that reports to a board, we will not accept forced job cuts.”
“This course of action by Essential Energy is not appropriate.”
Leslie Williams, Nationals Member for Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie News, 4 July 2019
Mrs Williams said she has made it "crystal clear that she will not tolerate any forced job losses at Essential Energy in Port Macquarie".
"This morning (3 July) I have spoken directly to the Deputy Premier's office and made it very clear that I will not stand by and see one Essential Energy employee forced out of a position in Port Macquarie.”
"I have made it clear to the Deputy Premier's Office and I have asked them to put a halt on this process."
Media release, 1 August 2019
“I call on the NSW Government as a matter of urgency to consider an independent investigation into Essential Energy and the various concerns that have been raised with me.”
Kevin Anderson, Nationals Member for Tamworth
Media release 7 August 2019
“I reiterate my anger at proposed job cuts at Essential Energy, and call on Essential Energy to immediate halt any plans to cut staff numbers.”
“I’m calling for an immediate halt to any decisions by Essential Energy to carry out planned workforce cuts in the regions.”
“If Essential Energy needs to make efficiencies, let them find somewhere else to do it, don’t cut jobs.”
Media Comment: Justin Page 0414 877 301
Further Information: George Houssos 0418 655 682