Power struggle charges to the street
A rally in Melbourne has seen disgruntled Yallourn power station workers joined by hundreds of people outside the offices of their employer, Energy Australia.
Energy Australia is the local subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based China Light and Power. The firm locked out all 75 shift operators and members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) in June this year after accusations that workers were limiting power output as part of industrial action in pursuit of a new enterprise agreement.
Reports say workers want an agreement guaranteeing adequate staffing levels and consistent consultation about proposed changes in the operation of the plant.
The company which owns the plant at one point accused workers of starting a fire, but that was countered by fire services’ findings that it was sparked by an electrical fault.
The CFMEU mining and energy division Victorian president Luke van der Meulen claims the Victorian government is planning to roll-out a law banning power plant workers from going on strike.
A statement from the Yallourn operators is expected soon, representatives of the CFMEU say the union has been mobilised in support.