Ausgrid is being urged to stop directing workers to travel in and out of the locked-down Newcastle, Hunter and Greater Sydney regions due to the heightened risk of COVID-19.
The Electrical Trades Union repeatedly raised concerns after Ausgrid employees from Newcastle and the Hunter were told to travel to the Ourimbah depot for work, which is under the Greater Sydney lockdown.
Much of this work was non-essential and included routine maintenance, which could have been completed by Ausgrid employees already in the Greater Sydney region.
Now Newcastle and the Hunter are also in lockdown, the ETU is calling on Ausgrid to allow workers to remain in their local areas.
Allen Hicks, Secretary, Electrical Trades Union, NSW & ACT Branch said: “Ausgrid has been putting its workers, their families and the broader community at unnecessary risk.
“Ausgrid continues to flaunt public health exemptions by directing staff to travel in and out of locked-down areas for non-essential work.
“We understand that from time to time workers may have to travel in and out of locked down areas for emergencies, but to direct them to do so for non-essential work is putting productivity ahead of safety.
“We’re in the middle of an unprecedented outbreak in NSW with much of the spread linked to workplaces.
“Ausgrid should be taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its workers and the public, not bending the rules.
“The ultra-transmissible Delta variant has already spread outside of Greater Sydney.
“The last thing our regional communities need is their lives put at risk by further COVID transmission because Ausgrid would not listen to the ETU’s concerns.”