Victorian power ‘not at risk’ over threatened plant lock-out

Government to intervene over industrial action

The Victorian government has promised to stop industrial action going ahead at the Loy Yang A coal-fired power station.

Energy supplier AGL is threatening to shut the state’s largest power plant down after the Electrical Trades Unions (ETU) gave notice it would enforce “consecutive stoppages” from May 15.

In response to the ongoing industrial dispute, AGL said strikes would compromise safety at the power station so therefore had no option but to lock out its entire workforce.   

Loy Yang A produces about 30 per cent of the Victoria’s electricity and employs some 580 workers at the Traralgon site, the AAP reported.

Read more: AGL threatens Loy Yang power station closure in Victoria

To avoid a potential energy crisis, the State government said it planned to ask the Fair Work Commission to terminate the industrial action.

“Victorian families and businesses can be assured that this action ensures the state’s energy supply is not put at risk,” Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

A new pay agreement had been negotiated with workers at the plant for more than 18 months – but the plug was pulled on a deal.

“The decision to walk off the job was not taken lightly by these workers,” ETU organiser Peter Mooney said.

“Right now there is zero certainty about the conditions, pay and future they can expect. They are fighting for certainty.”

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