CCIWA is disappointed that further industrial action will be mounted by the Communications, Electrical and Plumbers Union from today, with impacts across the electricity network.
The supply of electricity is fundamental to WA’s businesses and economy. Strikes impose a greater risk of power grid failure, representing increased uncertainty for business. They are also a risk to community safety, due to interruptions and decreased maintenance work and delays in getting power restored.
Industrial action, albeit an acknowledged right, should be a measure of last resort, especially when it threatens to have widespread impacts for communities and the economy.
The Government’s discipline on public sector wages has been an important factor in better managing WA’s finances. The CEPU’s approach to bargaining seeks to undermine this effort and could open the door to further disruption. By contrast, WA’s peak union body, UnionsWA, recently agreed a 1% pay increase with its own staff.
We urge the union to return to the negotiating table and work with Western Power towards an agreeable outcome.