SAPN workers fight against a 20% pay cut!

SA Power workers are fighting against a 20% pay cut for all new employees in the company.  This month they’ve taken industrial action to show the energy company that they’re serious about standing up for their rights.

This move by the CEPU in South Australia is part of a larger campaign to bargain for an improved enterprise agreement. The Union is fighting against the exploitation of labour hire and precarious employment arrangements, secondments and supplementary labour.

So far, the CEPU has had live work bans, four and eight hour strikes with rallies in front of the SAPN Head Office. 

In retaliation to partial bans, SAPN/Enerven have decided to take the harshest option of standing workers down for participating. The Union has seen workers being stood down for holding strong to their values and standing up for their industry.

In 2020, frontline workers endured incredibly tough conditions during the bushfires to restore power. Now the multinational company that profits from their hard work is trying to undercut them, by lowering the wages of new employees by 20%.

South Australia’s monopoly electricity distributor was privatised by Liberal Treasurer Rob Lucas in 1997. Now the company makes hundreds of millions in profits each year, but doesn’t want to treat employees fairly.

“The greed and oppression of this company is unbelievable. They want to take money away from workers they haven’t even employed yet!” said CEPU State Councillor Jason Lailey.

The Union stands united against a 20% reduction in wages for new workers and against the increase of labour hire and casualisation in the regulated industries.

“They’re trying to say we’ve had it too good for too long and that we’re all getting well above market rates and are overpaid, then trying to use the argument that they want to “reset” the market rates back down to what we really should be on,” said a SAPN worker.

“It’s probably the dumbest argument and tactic I’ve seen them try and I’m very confident none of us are going to buy into that ridiculous proposition and ever vote yes to something like that if the company try and sideline the union by putting it out to a vote. We’ve voted down down a 2% wage increase twice already, so to think we’d ever vote to a 20% pay CUT is farcical,” he said. 

This workforce will never vote to sell out future workers. 


These frontline essential workers deserve our support in their fight.

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This article was publised on 31 May 2021.