The Electrical Trades Union has called on NRG to accept concessions offered by Gladstone Power Station workers in a new workplace agreement to ensure the suffering local economy is not hit by more small business closures and job losses.
The Gladstone economy continues to be impacted by jobs and businesses leaving the region with empty shop fronts prominent along Goondoon Street.
ETU Queensland and NT Organiser Craig Giddins said the local economy was under even more threat if NRG were successful in removing wages and conditions from power station workers.
“We’ve seen small businesses sufferer in the region as major projects are completed, and those high paying jobs leave the region,” he said.
“And now NRG want to make that situation even worse by threatening the wages of a large section of the Gladstone Community by attempting to have their enterprise agreement terminated.
“These workers have agreed to move to a new modern award – along with other concessions – but the company is still hellbent on removing wages and conditions for workers, to deliver more money to their offshore owners.
“This will lead to less money going into the local community, and more small businesses suffering.”
Mr Giddins said it was crucial that NRG workers were able to maintain their protections, for the future of the town’s economy.
“If these workers lose these protections there are many large employers in the region waiting to treat their workers the same,” he said.
“The impact on the local Gladstone community as job security is eroded and wages fall across a range of large employers would be devastating.
“NRG would be just the first domino to fall.”
NRG’s unwavering position has forced workers to take the extreme measure of industrial action, potentially starting on the 15th of June.
The Gladstone community will continue to protest NRG’s position this coming Wednesday in the hopes the company will respect the concessions of the employees in any new agreement.
For more information contact: Craig Giddins 0419 721 043 or Dan Nancarrow 0488 633 858