Yallourn offer voted down  

Yallourn power station workers have voted down a direct offer from owner operator EnergyAustralia, designed to break an ongoing industrial negotiation deadlock.

The company had offered a draft enterprise agreement directly to the station’s 120 production and maintenance workforce earlier this month, bypassing unions when negotiations reached an impasse.

 A two week voting period for the alternative agreement closed yesterday, with 76 workers voting against the offer, compared to 23 ‘yes’ votes.

 However members of the workforce’s chief representative union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, pledged to vote down the offer before the voting period started, due to the proposed EA’s omission of certain job security and consultation conditions.  

In a statement from the company, group executive manager operations and construction Michael Hutchinson expressed disappointment the CFMEU had campaigned against the offer.

“In response to these difficult (economic) conditions, EnergyAustralia has been forced to cut jobs in other parts of the business and that’s why it’s particularly disappointing employees voted against this generous offer,” Mr Hutchinson said.

 “We want to see an EBA outcome as soon as possible. We will now assess what options are available to us to make sure we can get an agreement that supports the 500 jobs we have on site, and is sustainable and allows us to run the business in this tough economic environment.

 “With industrial action putting pressure on costs, we will also need to reassess our offer.”