Major agribusiness locks out electricians in extreme action

Electrical Trades Union

Agribusiness giant Manildra Group has indefinitely locked out 13 electricians in regional NSW after they took legally protected industrial action.

The Electrical Trades Union members in Bomaderry on the NSW South Coast had engaged in limited work bans including not answering phones or responding to emails in a bid to accelerate stalled pay negotiations.

ETU Organiser Stewart Edward said workers had been engaged in 10 months of negotiations for better pay and conditions.

“This is extreme action against these workers who are only looking to give security to their families,” he said.

“They’ve had ongoing uncertainty from being unable to get wage increases, now on top of that they’ve been locked out.

“They’ve got bills like everybody else so this is going to cause significant anxiety for these electricians and their families.

“These workers are highly skilled, highly knowledgeable, and very dedicated and loyal to the company.

“They keep the plant running 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

On Monday morning, there was a community picket and barbecue to support the workers in Bomaderry.

The ETU members were buoyed by the South Coast community’s support.

“Manildra Group is a multi-billion company, this is not some small mum and dad outfit,” Mr Edwards said

“They could easily afford to give these workers a decent pay rise.

“The question is, if its alright for these workers to look after this family-owned company, why isn’t it OK to look after the workers?”

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