Unions save 500 jobs at Essential Energy

After months of unions and MPs fighting to save jobs at Essential Energy, the Liberal/National Government has finally bowed to the mounting pressure and committed to saving the 500 jobs that were at risk.

In a July 2019 organisational briefing document, Essential Energy flagged plans to reduce its workforce from 3000 full-time employees to 2500 by 2024 – despite Deputy Premier John Barilaro promising there would be no losses to regional jobs following the March election.

At a joint union meeting last week the Labor Opposition Leader Jodi McKay, Deputy Opposition Leader Yasmine Catley and Shadow Minister Adam Searle spoke directly to Essential Energy employees about the restructures and redundancies at the state-owned corporation. 

At the meeting, the Labor MPs explained that all the Nationals had to do was tell the NSW Treasury and Minister for Finance to stop the job cuts and it would happen.

Less than a week after the unions heard from these politicians on the ground at Essential, the Government suddenly moved to action.
Energy Minister, Matt Kean released a statement, which explained: "Today I am announcing my intention to issue a direction to Essential Energy to halt the proposed job cuts."

In question time on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian said Essential Energy would look for alternative savings measures after the Government had taken the "very serious and appropriate action" to intervene.

The Premier has however failed to respond to Labor's calls for a guarantee that as many as 500 jobs would not be axed from the company over the next five years.

Professionals Australia is currently in the process of pushing for more information from Essential management about the future of jobs at the state-owned corporation.