ETU says Rockhampton under fire as Ergon sets to slash jobs

THE Electrical Trades Union has warned that Rockhampton Ergon Energy workers are in the firing line as Ergon sets out to slash jobs.

State organiser Stuart Traill claimed Ergon planned to cut the number of design positions state-wide from 105 to 48.

He also suspected a "significant number" of positions could be cut in Rockhampton because an Employment Assistance Program counsellor had been called in to help alleviate the concerns of those workers here who were losing their jobs.

But an Ergon spokesman said a total of 116 jobs would be affected. He said 95 positions would be up for voluntary redundancies state-wide and 21 would be transferred elsewhere within Ergon.

He could not comment on whether Rockhampton would be affected.

But he said the restructure wasn't limited to the design section, it also included managerial, professional and administration jobs.

He rebutted claims by Mr Traill that Ergon would not have enough electricity workers to respond to or prevent outages.

The Ergon spokesman said the operational and frontline response capability would not be affected.

Mr Traill said: "They are arguing that the cuts are needed to reduce upward pressure on electricity prices.

"Yet with the latest cuts they have slashed 1600 jobs in the last two years while Queenslanders have been slugged with a record 22.6% increase and a proposed 13% increase from July."

He questioned where Ergon's $434million profit had gone. "The 35% increase in profits certainly hasn't gone into infrastructure or to reduce the skyrocketing price of electricity."



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