Down drain: Icon workers dudded by pay offer

Electrical Trades Union NSW/ACT Branch

The ACT Government must intervene to stop its wholly owned water and sewerage company draining the take home pay of its workforce, the Electrical Trades Union said today.

ETU members at the sewer and water utility, Icon Water, will stop work for two hours at 8:30am on Wednesday, fed up with management’s refusal to provide a pay deal that keeps pace with the cost of living.

The workers have been negotiating with Icon since April and are set to launch an industrial campaign of bans and stoppages if management fails to provide a decent offer.

“The cost of living is surging in Canberra. Rent is up nine per cent, mortgage interest rates have doubled and petrol continues to hover around two dollars a litre. Icon workers are being smashed by higher living costs,” said ETU organiser, Matt McCann.

“We sincerely hope and expect the Labor Government is listening. It’s beyond irony that this strike is happening in the very week federal Labor is holding a summit to boost wages so workers don’t go backwards.”

Wednesday’s protected industrial action will be the first such action at Icon in living memory.

“These workers are not trying to get rich,” McCann said. “They just want a deal that stops them going backwards. Surely that’s not too much to ask for from a Labor government.”

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