Back-to-back strike action

Ongoing industrial action at Yallourn Power Station is creating tensions among the workforce, according to owner-operator EnergyAustralia, where a 48-hour stop work on power generation was due to commence this morning.

In an update on the ongoing dispute, EnergyAustralia group executive manager operations and construction Michael Hutchinson said it was important the workforce “acted responsibly and lawfully” throughout the industrial turmoil.

“Latrobe Valley workers have a strong loyalty to the unions, but there are many working for a company (which) are hopefully somewhat proud of what they do,” Mr Hutchinson said, adding the action was taking its toll on the workforce.

He said the latest walkout, in which operators were due to walk out at 6.45am this morning as part of back-to-back 24 hour stoppages, put pressure on contracted workers to step in to continue power generation.

Mr Hutchinson said temporary operators would attempt to maintain three of the station’s four generation units at 80 per cent capacity, while the fourth generator, sidelined on 2 April before the workforce’s first 24-hour walkout, would remain offline until Friday.

The action comes after five days of renewed enterprise bargaining negotiations between EnergyAustralia and chief representative union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, reached a deadlock last Friday.

The CFMEU did not respond to calls from The Express.