Essential Energy to put job cuts on pause

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Essential Energy has agreed to delay handing down proposed job cuts across its network.

The Electrical Trades Union last week reported up to 160 jobs would be lost from the company’s entire footprint, with suggestions regional NSW depots would be hardest hit.

There were suggestions the cuts could be as many as 180 jobs, and it was not yet clear what the impacts would be in Deniliquin and district.

In a statement provided to the Pastoral Times last week, Essential Energy said reducing jobs would in part enable the costs paid by consumers to be reduced.

Angst over the cuts prompted NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro to intervene and request a meeting with Essential Energy senior management. He said he wanted to avoid devastating job losses in communities when the drought is already having a significant impact.

An Essential Energy spokesperson said the consultation period on potential job cuts has since been extended to August 16.

‘‘Over the period of consultation, Essential Energy will consider feedback from its employees on any alternative cost saving measures or initiatives that may be considered as part of the workforce right-sizing process,’’ the spokesperson said.

The ETU says it is in the process of developing a range of proposals that it believes are viable alternatives to slashing jobs and services in the bush.