Union Slams Territory Generation for Blackout Witch Hunt

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Union slams Territory Generation for blackout witch hunt

Members targeted to shut them up

The Electrical Trades Union called for immediate NT Government intervention into the running of TGen accusing the Government owned electricity generator of intimidation and threats to ETU members over the utilities appalling handling of the Alice Springs blackouts.

ETU QLD NT State Secretary Peter Ong warned the Territory Government that the Union’s patience was at breaking point.

“The blackouts were bad enough with the effect they had on the Alice Springs community, TGen management should have been sacked for their incompetence on the spot. But, now instead of dealing with the issues raised by their incompetence they have embarked on a witch hunt intimidating and threatening three of TGen’s most experienced operators. These guys who helped with the restoration of power on the day of the system black event of 13 October are now looking down the barrel of being stood down for accessing information in relation to that event via TGen’s internal computer system. Two of the three operators in question went in to help on their day off, off their own bat because due to TGen incompetence there is no operations call out roster.”

Mr Ong added “If this is how people are treated when they go above and beyond, these two, and others may think twice before acting the same way, potentially increasing outage times further.”

“This latest hostile response from TGen is evidence that the Government is running a protection racket for incompetent TGen executives at the expense of hardworking TGen employees and the wider Alice Springs community and the buck stops with the Government.” He said.

Mr Ong pointed to the fact that TGen and the NT Government had been well aware of the ETU’s concerns for more than a year about the potential impacts the closure of Ron Goodin would have on the reliability of power in Alice Springs.

“The concerns about Alice’s power has not been a secret to members on the frontline, the Government or TGen but instead of dealing with the issues in consultation with the union and the frontline workers, we’ve had coverup and stonewalling and now outright silencing dissent and intimidation to stop workers speaking out.”

Mr Ong raised recent media reports about an extremely disturbing trend of Northern Territory Government workers facing reprisals for raising concerns about corruption or improper conduct, as evidence that the Government was more intent on silencing dissent than it was in dealing with the issues.

For more information please contact Dave “Strawbs” Hayes 0419 721 042 or Andrew Irvine 0448 633 858