On Wednesday 14 September, Electrical Trades Union (ETU) members from Power and Water Corporation (PWC) and Territory Generation will strike from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Workers across the Territory will cease work for the second time this month, showing workers will not stop until the Territory government comes to the table with a reasonable offer in the ongoing Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) negotiations.
“Our members from both government-owned corporations have had it,” says ETU Organiser Dave “Strawbs” Hayes. “We won’t back down, and the government will continue to feel the full force of the combined Territory union movement.”
Northern Territory unions have been campaigning against the four-year wage freeze proposed by the government for over a year, with no signs of slowing down as the government refuses to come to the table.
“It’s unbelievable that the government hasn’t yet budged on this issue,” says Mr Hayes. “It continues to treat workers with contempt. These are the workers who keep the power on every day and were on the front line during the pandemic. The cost of living is going up at record speed, and the government is offering a four-year freeze on wages.
“Our message has been clear and will continue to be. We will not accept the pay freeze. We’re telling the government loud and clear to lose the freeze and recognise current cost of living challenges, the skills our members hold and the responsibilities they undertake every single day.
“A four-year wage freeze for our members means they’ll be behind for the rest of the careers. It particularly affects workers who are close to retiring and it will impact the superannuation of all workers,” says Mr Hayes.
There will be no threat to power, water or sewage network supplies during the stoppage. The action stipulates that members will be available to perform work in emergency situations and will ensure networks continue to operate as normal. Any work outside those parameters will cease.
“We are prepared to get back to the table and have some real discussions on how to move forward in this process, says Mr Hayes. “We’re urging the government to meet with us again and participate in good faith bargaining. We want to get this resolved for the workers.
“This stoppage is just the next step, it’s not the end. We have plans for more work bans and stoppages if the government continues refusing to hear us.”