Contributed by Ugly
Sick and tired of being treated with disrespect, members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) descended on parliament house in Brisbane at midday yesterday (12 June). They are angry about the state government’s failure to protect jobs.
Jobs are being transfered via the hire of labour hire companies and ongoing public asset sales by stealth.
They are also upset that the assets are being sold off to foreign ownership. A case in point is the sale of the electricity generation capacity.
State Secretary Peter Ong describes said, “our members fought hard on behalf of their communities to protect the state’s public assets and jobs from private ownership and they are seeing private companies investing in the generation sector with the approval of the State Labor Government elected on a no asset sales agenda. You can image how that goes down with our members.
“The Government has the ability to regulate the sector via Cleanco a Government Owned Corporation set up for exactly that purpose, yet they are dragging the chain and we are seeing solar farm after solar farm being owned and operated by private companies.
“To make matters even worse, our members in Townsville, Mackay and many other regional areas where these solar farms are primarily located are seeing what should be; good, well paid, trade qualified jobs, being given to unlicensed, unskilled labour, often foreign backpackers bused in by labour hire companies from hostels. It’s an absolute disgrace and a betrayal of trust particularly for our members facing uncertain futures in the transition from traditional electricity generation to renewables.”
The state government is acting similarly with the Townsville Stadium project. Interstate based labour hire company with an anti-worker history is being used, on tone of the state’s biggest infrastructure projects.
Many of these union members are Labor party supporters and campaigned for the its re-election at the last election. They feel betrayed by a government that is supposed to be on their side.
The Video below tells the story.
Video from ETU Queensland & NT