The Guardian • Issue #2056

Industrial action looms at Queensland power stations

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2056
Kogan Creek Power Station, Queensland.

Kogan Creek Power Station, Queensland. Photo: Coachcapt – Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The union representing workers at the Callide and Kogan power stations will apply to the Fair Work Commission to take industrial action after negotiations broke down with contractor Programmed Services.

Programmed Services are contracted to undertake industrial and domestic cleaning at the sites where enterprise agreement negotiations have dragged on for over two years.

Members of the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) are concerned cleaners at the Kogan power station have been offered $5.00 an hour less than those undertaking the same duties at the Callide power station.

MEU members have been frustrated by Programmed Services and CS Energy, who own the site, blaming each other for delays in negotiations.

Industrial action will affect CS Energy’s health and hygiene requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act which will have flow-on effects for power generation workers and may mean they will be unable to perform their work.

MEU Queensland District Vice-President Shane Brunker says the situation has the capacity to escalate quickly and affect power generation across Queensland.

“Programmed Services and CS Energy need to get back to the negotiating table and finish this deal otherwise there will be dire consequences for power generation in this state,” says MEU Queensland District Vice-President Shane Brunker.

“Two years is plenty of time to hammer out a deal like this, our members have had it and are ready to down tools.

“These jobs used to be permanent jobs directly with CS Energy, but now these workers are in this labour hire limbo land on substandard work conditions with Programmed Services with the two entities passing the buck between each other, it’s tiresome.

“Either this is resolved in the next few working days or our members will be on the grass, and with their fellow members on site potentially right behind them.

“We are seeing this nonsense all over with unscrupulous fly by night contracting companies who don’t even pay long service leave but take the money in their contracts with the Queensland government.

“The MEU is calling on the Queensland Labor government to instruct their Government Owned Corporations (GOCs) to audit their books and move full time contract labour back into permanent positions,” says MEU Queensland District Vice-President Shane Brunker.


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