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Energy company denies grid will be thrown into chaos

ACTION: Unions at the Kogan Creek Power Station have launched industrial action against CS Energy, claiming legal loopholes are not protecting worker's rights. Photo taken at a company barbecue in 2011.
ACTION: Unions at the Kogan Creek Power Station have launched industrial action against CS Energy, claiming legal loopholes are not protecting worker's rights. Photo taken at a company barbecue in 2011. Nadine Shaw

UPDATE: Industrial action could leave customers short on energy, has both the unions and CS Energy wait for the Australian Electoral Commission to approval a ballot that will be given to worker's at the Kogan Creek Power Station.

The ballot contains 18 question that will be put to union member's at the station, ranging from whether to strike action will be taken to reducing the output of the plant.

CFMEU district vice-president Shane Brunker said that two of the ballot questions involved reducing the energy output of the unit.

The unit at Brigalow currently has an output of 750 mega-watts of energy, with industrial action potentially reducing that to 700 and 400 mega-watts respectively.

Mr Brunker said that this may affect its customers, but surrounding power stations could increase their output to cover the reduction across the grid.

However, a spokesperson for CS Energy said that this was not the case and any reduction in output by the station would not affect customers.

"There is sufficient surplus electricity generated in Queensland to cover any reduction in load at Kogan Creek Power Station in the event of industrial action.”

Earlier

INDUSTRIAL action has been launched against a State Government-owned energy firm over actions the company has allegedly taken against its workers at the Kogan Creek Power Station.

The CFMEU Mining and Energy Division today announced an application for Protected Industrial Action against CS Energy.

The union claims that owners of the power station in Brigalow, CS Energy, had tried to "strip workers of their rights,” during negotiations of a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

CFMEU district vice-president Shane Brunker said CS Energy was trying to create a "category of second-class workers at the Kogan Creek generator.”

"It's leaving people with no job security, shift certainty and with massive safety issues created by refusing to allow people to have a break or take leave,” Mr Brunker said.

"Workers who have given 10 years of service to the company deserve better than this.

"They're being worked and treated like dogs.”

The union claimed legal-loopholes had been used by CS Energy to keep their workers' rights and conditions below industry standard.

The union claims an award underpinning the Government-Owned Corporate Act that protects worker's rights excludes the Brigalow facility.

General manager of CS Energy's Kogan Creek Power Station, Phil Matha, said CS Energy had been negotiating a new bargaining agreement "in good faith”.

"CS Energy has presented a very generous and favourable offer to the unions and bargaining representatives that balances the interests of the workforce and the business,” Mr Matha said.

"Our offer meets all of requirements of the Queensland Government wages policy and, in fact, includes a number of improvements to the current allowances and benefits that our workers at Kogan Creek Power Station enjoy.

"Regrettably, this offer has been rejected by the unions.”

Minister Mark Bailey, whose portfolio includes CS Energy, has been contacted for comment.

Topics:  brigalow cfmeu cs energy kogan creek power station queensland government


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