WHAT: SA Water workers in hi-vis go on strike, protesting against unfair treatment.
WHERE: SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide
WHEN: Media event from 1.15pm. Media comment available from 1.30pm.
Management indifference to workers’ demands for fair treatment at SA Water has forced workers to launch a 24-hour stoppage – the second stoppage within a month.
The protected action has seen more than 100 workers walk off the job for 24 hours from 12 midnight on Thursday at state-wide sites that include pipelines, water treatment plants, depots, locks and reservoirs.
The stoppage means South Australia’s residents will face call-outs to contractors for emergency water issues during the 24-hour period, despite SA Water union members repeatedly offering to cover emergency calls during the stoppage.
“It feels like SA Water’s $450,000-a-year boss reckons he does not have to spend too much time on SA Water’s workers,” United Workers Union’s Allied industries director Godfrey Moase said today.
“Our members were astonished in a meeting on Wednesday when management simply could not offer workers any meaningful progress, despite workers first rejecting a substandard offer back in July.
“It’s shocking that despite the hard work our members put in during the Covid-19 pandemic – including taking a pay cut by voluntarily delaying these talks – the best management can offer these workers is a shrug.
“SA Water workers are taking action so bosses understand moves to change existing work hours – removing protections that have existed for decades – will be bad for services, bad for SA residents and unnecessarily disrupt workers’ lives.
“SA Water workers are making sure every day this most essential service continues to flow to homes throughout the state, yet their bosses can’t be bothered being fair dinkum with them.”
The wholly-Marshall Liberal Government-owned statutory corporation banked $300 million in profit in 2019-20.
QUOTE ATTRIBUTABLE TO ANONYMOUS SA WATER WORKER:
“For us it’s not about money. If they get the right to change start and finish times at every depot across the state and other business areas, pretty much when they feel like it, it means workers and their families have no control over their lives.
“A lot of other companies have been looking after their workers during the pandemic, but what SA Water has come up with is a slap in the face.
“We’re understaffed as it is. Now they want to make us work longer hours and at the same time push through fundamental changes to our working lives without any consideration of the impact on us and our communities.”
ENDS Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]