REVEALED: One in five Essential Energy jobs to be cut
RECENT job cuts by Essential Energy look set to be just the start after documents reveal one in five regional jobs will go by 2024.
The projected downsizing of the workforce was revealed in an Essential Energy internal document provided by the Electrical Trades Union just weeks after the proposal to cut 182 jobs from the regional workforce.
The ETU said they were alarmed by the revelations the current round of jobs cuts "were just the beginning" and urgent political action was needed to develop a "practical plan" to save jobs across regional NSW.
"With one in every five workers facing the chop, there is no question that regional communities will be devastated and service delivery will be greatly impacted," ETU secretary Justin Page said.
"For towns already struggling with drought, the loss of these skilled jobs - forcing many families to move away - will have devastating flow-on effects on the local economy."
In a statement, the ETU said the job cuts would mean an "additional 500 workers lose their jobs on top of the 182 that Essential Energy last month".
However, Essential Energy responded by indicating that was not the case.
"It is important to note the forecast reduction to 2500 employees by 2024 includes the proposed workforce reductions currently in consultation," a spokesperson said.
"The forecast employee numbers were clearly identified in materials provided last month to all Essential Energy employees and other stakeholders, including ETU representatives."
Essential Energy said they had been in consultation with employees and stakeholders throughout the process and shared with them "detailed information on changes to the business and what they meant for the workforce".
"To be clear, we have specifically briefed employees and the unions on projections for the shape and size of our workforce over the past three years.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said he had not seen the figures showing the predicted job losses but was confident there would not be any job losses "in the short term".
"I am confident the discussion that has been had by the Deputy Premier, unions and the Treasurer will ensure we do not see these job losses materialising."
"I am confident they are going to put their staff reductions on hold and in the short term we won't see any job losses.
"I don't think the first option should be sacking staff. They (Essential Energy) need to review their operations and not take the easy way out."