Following the ongoing redundancies and restructure at Essential Energy, the combined unions have met with members and the State Opposition to discuss how we can all work together to save 500 jobs across the company.
In attendance were; Opposition Leader, Jodi McKay; Deputy Leader Yasmin Catley; and Shadow Energy Minister, Adam Searle MLC. At the meeting, the visiting MPs pledged the their full support for members and declared Labor will work to save those jobs on the line. As Parliament reconvenes next week, the Opposition will continue to question the Government about Essential Energy.
As it stands, Essential Energy and the NSW Government blame the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) determination for the job cuts. We are advising our members to reject these excuses as it is merely a ploy to dodge responsibility for the current situation.
Ms McKay said the Government, as sole owner of Essential Energy, has the power to stop these cuts. Ms McKay pointed out that Board shareholders, Treasurer - Dominic Perrottet and Minister of Finance - Damien Tudehope, can put a stop to this process, but are choosing to remain silent.
We believe if these two Ministers told the board to stop the cuts tomorrow, the redundancies would stop.
As the meeting progressed, Ms Catley and Mr Searle then called on Nationals Leader, John Barilaro, to stand up for Essential jobs.
The Nationals Leader has previously said that he supports jobs in regional NSW, but to our knowledge has not spoken to his fellow Ministers to advocate against these job cuts.
The visiting MPs have challenged Mr Barilaro to put his money where his month is and fight to protect the 500 at risk jobs.
It is worth noting that The Nationals are coalition with the current Government, and their support is vital to allow the Government to pass legislation in the Upper House
At this stage, we are yet to hear from Mr Barilaro's office, but he may make a statement regarding the Essential Energy job cuts.