The announcement by ActewAGL that it will make “substantial” job cuts as a result of the Australian Energy Regulator decision highlights the need for a jobs plan for Canberra, UnionsACT’s Secretary Alex White said today.
The AER’s decision to cut ActewAGL’s operating allowance by 36% is a massive hit, and it is forecast that 190 jobs will be lost.
Any reduction of the ActewAGL workforce will have consequences for Canberra. Not only will this decision impact the safe and reliable supply of electricity, but the economic and social costs of yet more workers joining the jobless queue are immense.
The following quotes can be attributed to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT.
“Today is a sad day for the loyal workers of ActewAGL who face job cuts, many of whom have gone above and beyond the call of duty during storms and natural disasters.
“Working people will pay the cost of the Energy Regulator’s decision, and the social and community cost of hundreds of ActewAGL workers getting the sack will not make up for the small reduction in energy costs.
“After the thousands of job cuts to the public service, the last thing Canberra needs now is more sackings.
“These cuts will impact on frontline services and, in the long-term, may result in skills shortages as electricians are forced to leave the ACT.
“What Canberra needs now is serious investments in jobs.
“We need to see leadership and a credible jobs plan from the Federal Government, but unfortunately they seem intent on more cuts and more sackings.”
UnionsACT is the peak body for unions in the Canberra region, representing over 33,000 working people.