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Who: Around 20 United Workers Union and Australia Manufacturing Workers Union members from Port Augusta and surrounds will be rallying.

What: SA Water workers are taking a 24-hour strike in pursuit of a better agreement

Where: Gladstone Square, MacKay Street, Port Augusta

When:  Thursday 18 November 2021 11:20am

Spokesperson: UWU Official Darren Roberts

In the face of short staffing and a potential skills shortage, SA Water management is continuing to push workers to the edge.

As a result of management indifference, workers will undertake a 24-hour state-wide, stopwork action at worksites such as pipelines, water treatment plants, depots, locks and reservoirs, which includes around 10 workers from the depot in Port Augusta.

More than 100 UWU members, who look after field and operations services will be joined by around 50 AMWU members from in the strike.

The escalation in action is expected to continue well into the summer if SA Water continues to treat its workers and the bargaining process with contempt.

UWU Allied Director Godfrey Moase said the workers who kept the water running throughout the pandemic deserved to be heard in their pursuit of family-friendly rosters and wages that keep up-to speed with the increased cost of living.

“It’s easy for the SA Water boss to dismiss the hardships our workers face while sitting pretty on almost half-a-million dollars a year,” Moase said.

“The crux of the dispute is that workers want some certainty around their rosters so that they can plan childcare, community commitments and their lives outside of work.

“The race to the bottom and the constant attacking of conditions is starting to bite though, as workers begin to look elsewhere for more attractive positions.

“One of our delegates is leaving after more than 10 years at SA Water, stating he has secured a better paid job with family friendly hours.

“This story isn’t unique, it is being witnessed across the whole of the South Australian public sector and public utility corporations.

“Further skills shortages in essential services like SA Water would be a disastrous outcome for the Marshall Liberal Government, so I suggest the SA Water Board and the Government take proper heed of worker requests.”

The Liberal State Government-owned statutory corporation banked $300 million in profit in 2019-20.


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