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Unions claim electricity suppliers to dump workers

Unions are alleging a number of electricity suppliers are planning to dump a large portion of their workforce.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the United Services Union (USU) in New South Wales claim that leaked documents show Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and Ausgrid are collectively going to cut 7,800 jobs.

Leaked documents detail their plans to sack workers, make them redundant and embark on hiring freezes, the unions said.

ETU state secretary Steve Butler said that such an extensive cut in the workforce would have a negative impact on the response times of crews during storms and bushfires. General reliability, maintenance and safety would also be at risk, he claimed.

Mr Butler explained: "Ask the people of Coonabarabran where staff worked around the clock making fallen power lines safe and getting power reconnected to the community as soon as possible - if they support cutting thousands of jobs?"

Employment opportunities for young apprentices would also be at risk - with up to 1,000 positions wiped out, he stated.

Mr Butler has accused Ausgrid of making hard negotiations in the workplace to remove from their enterprise agreement, the rule that a sacked worker should be paid what they are entitled to.

Posted by Charlie Moore