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Energex preparing to cut Brisbane jobs, union fears

Energex could be planning to shutdown one of its Brisbane depots and cut up to 150 jobs, the Electrical Trades Union has warned after receiving a leaked Energex document which canvases potential major changes.

The ETU obtained a program for an Energex workshop on March 17, when the "reduction in the property portfolio footprint ie potentially reduction of six hubs to five hubs" was discussed.

"Outsourcing warehouse, accounts payable, fleet management, Esitrain, distribution of materials, print and copy services" was also considered during the workshop.

Esitrain is Energex's inhouse training facility for its electricians and linesmen.

The document also showed "subletting Energex's main distribution centre at Eagle Farm" was considered.

Energex currently has six maintenance "hubs" across Brisbane.

The ETU's state organiser Stuart Traill said the ETU feared that if Energex amalgamated "six hubs into five" one of those large hub depots would be shut down.

"In the hubs you are talking about 100 staff minimum, maybe 150 staff," he said.

"You are talking about linesmen, administration staff, designers, the whole gambit of the industry."

However, Energex chief executive Terry Effeney told Fairfax Media on Thursday the document was "an internal document" for "discussion only".

"Currently, there is no Energex position regarding these ideas and the group discussing these ideas does not have the ability to make any decisions on these matters," Mr Effeney said.

The staff at the meeting included Darryl Rowell, Energex's general manger of performance and analysis.

And an Energex spokesman said the meeting was used to prepare Energex's 2014-15 business plan.

Mr Traill said the workshop document was a bombshell and he was dissatisfied with the answers provided by Energex when he sought clarification about the meeting.

Mr Effeney had told Mr Traill Energex was "not actively considering outsourcing and subletting these activities".

"However [Energex] will continue to review business operations from time to time," he said.

Mr Traill said the ETU believed Energex would enact the changes when the existing enterprise bargaining agreement finished in November 2014.

Energex did not reply to questions over the likelihood of changes being introduced after the EBA expires.

Conditions which also expire in November 2014 are a requirement to consult with unions, no forced redundancies and for current contactors to be protected.

3 comments so far

  • Ed, On using this screen-name, one should be extremely concerned at what is taking place within Australia, where jobs are being lost at an alarming rate. The ACTU Movement needs to keep in mind that their massive wage/condition demands have created the environment, where job security is less secure today, compared to 10 years ago. Our governments must ensure that the right decisions are made and where job creation remains a priority. For our Energex workers, this uncertainty isn't good when the Queensland community via either Energex or Ergon need qualified workmen to ensure that our electricity infrastructure works. One only has to look at what Tropical Cyclone Oswald did had the outstanding effort by our maintenance people.

    Canberra Observer
    Date and time
    March 28, 2014, 4:44PM
    • Great to see that Energex, is looking as streamlining it operations to keep customers costs down. If the area can be cover by 5 hubs, go for it. If it means relocating staff to save money on depots great. Unions must remember companies employ and pay staff not the union, if you want to control energex, but the company with all the money you are taking from members for your own and Labor Party benefits.

      Date and time
      March 28, 2014, 4:46PM
      • Just goes to show if you get rid of the union and lower the pays by about $100 you will be able to create more jobs. Our last eba we didn't ask for a pay rise as we are greedy and live with in our means.

        Date and time
        March 28, 2014, 5:47PM

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