Foreign multinational NRG sinks boot into Gladstone region

NRG today finally made public plans to terminate the enterprise agreement and award of Gladstone Power Station workers.

The company’s plans to attack the power station’s agreement and award were discovered by workers in leaked documents sent to the multinationals’ overseas headquarters last year.

NRG had refused to confirm the details of that leak until informing the bargaining representatives today that they would be applying for a termination of the agreement and award with the Fair Work Commission.

Electrical Trades Union Organiser Craig Giddins said the company were attempting to force an inferior offer on to workers, despite NRG’s proposal being rejected by 162 of 164 employees last month.

“Just because they couldn’t get their agreement approved by the workforce they refused to go back to the bargaining table, like all decent employers would do. Instead they have held a gun to the workforces’ head, demanding they accept the radical stripping away of hard fought conditions – or else,” he said.

The company are pushing ahead with the termination application despite the workforce proposing to keep the conditions of their current agreement.

Mr Giddins said NRG’s actions were motivated by pure greed, at the expense of an already hurting Gladstone community.

“Even if NRG are able to strip away the rightful conditions and wages of their workforce this won’t have any positive impact on peoples’ power bills. The average household won’t see any benefit, the only winner will be fat cats in a foreign country, who have fleeced an Australian workforce,” he said.

“If these workers are put on inferior agreement they won’t have the money to spend in local shops. It will be going offshore.

“Gladstone has been kicked in the guts with job losses and the ramping down of construction on Curtis Island. This is yet another multinational trying to drive the boot into the region.”

Power station workers today endorsed significantly ramping up the campaign to protect their wages and conditions.

“Nothing is off the table. We will undertake an industrial campaign as well as spread the word in the local community about what the company is doing,” he said.

“We will have another meeting out the front of the station tomorrow where we are expecting even more community members to turn up in support than the large group we had last month.

“This issue is now a major issue for the Gladstone region – if they are able to terminate this award here other companies around the region will try the same thing.”