Hundreds of union members and activists marched on the offices of Evoenergy CEO John Knox and the ACT Legislative Assembly last week, to show their disgust at the company’s refusal to make a decent wage offer despite increased profits. The ETU members were joined by members of Professionals Australia and the CFMEU.
ETU members at Evoenergy launched negotiations with the company in June, wanting an enterprise agreement with wages that meet the cost of living, plus industry standard superannuation. Evoenergy then put out a substandard EBA offer, leaving the workers no choice but to vote NO and take rounds of protected industrial action. The members remain strong and united and have escalated their protected action in the last month with daily stoppages and switching bans.
Despite the worst cost of living crisis in recent memory, the electricity distribution company’s most recent pay offer still fails to keep pace with the cost of living and was rejected for a second time by workers last week.
Three weeks ago, the company (ActewAGL Joint Venture), which is half owned by the ACT Government, revealed it paid an annual profit to its shareholders of $313 million before tax. Meanwhile, the ACT Government made $138.5 million after tax.
ETU NSW/ACT Secretary, Allen Hicks, said the time for excuses had passed.
“These hard-working men and women aren’t asking for a lot, just a pay deal that stops them going backwards. The company is raking in the profits but with Christmas around the corner it wants to play scrooge.
“We are not going away. We will get noisier and more disruptive until this company stops being so tightfisted and makes a decent offer.”
When we stick together, we win!