Minns Government throws cash at Transgrid with no guarantee of job completion

Electrical Trades Uniom

The Minns Government has betrayed hundreds of NSW energy workers with a $3.2 million dollar handout to transmission company Transgrid while the company is in the midst of a protracted industrial dispute. NSW Energy Minister Penny Sharpe has recklessly signed off on millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, without doing her due diligence or securing any guarantees that the company can fulfil the project needs. Transgrid has been in the midst of a protracted workplace dispute for over four months, refusing to offer a decent wage rise to the workforce even as it faces cancellations and delays to projects due to protected industrial action. Unless Transgrid offers to pay its workers a decent wage, any future projects will likely be affected by protected industrial action. “This funding decision is a disgraceful and reckless squandering of money from the public purse – money hard-earned by the workers in NSW. This decision absolutely does not pass the pub test,” said ETU NSW/ACT Secretary Allen Hicks. On Friday, workers at Transgrid voted to escalate their industrial action campaign, risking delays to new renewable generation, transmission, and storage connections across NSW. Instead of standing up for energy workers in the biggest dispute seen at Transgrid in decades, the Energy Minister has chosen to give the majority foreign-owned company a taxpayer handout that does nothing to address workers’ reasonable demands. “ETU members at Transgrid have been fighting for a wage increase that keeps up with the cost of living since October. Yet, in the biggest industrial dispute with Transgrid in 30 years, the NSW Government is turning a blind eye. “The Minns Government, elected on the promise to battle against privatisation, is now recklessly shovelling money out the door to an electricity network that is entirely privately owned and sends the majority of its profits offshore. The NSW Government’s actions are a stark betrayal of workers and public trust, and completely undermines the union’s protected industrial action,” said Hicks.

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