Petition launched in bid to save Energy jobs
HUNDREDS have signed a petition urging National Party leader John Barilaro to stand by his election pledge and "protect local electricity jobs”.
The petition was launched after Essential Energy began notifying regional employees of their forced redundancies, just weeks before Christmas.
So far 36 workers have been informed they will no longer have a job in the new year, with another 564 workers to be added to the list by June 2018.
United Services Union state a further 1,000 more forced job cuts will be taken after that.
The petition encourages Mr Barilaro to stand by a written pledge he made in a 2015 media release, stating: "If Essential Energy is allowed to slash these regional jobs it will cause huge problems for local communities.
"You have the ability to step in and stop your own Government organisation from devastating large and small regional communities by these job losses.”
USU energy manager, Ben Thompson, said workers and families will be forced to move away to find work.
"You can't take 1,600 specialist skilled jobs out of regional communities without leaving a huge social and economic impact as families move away, money leaves those towns, and skills are lost forever.
"Essential Energy is not only 100% owned by the NSW Government, it is also the single largest employer in regional NSW.
"Mr Barilaro not only has the power to act, he has a moral obligation to the people of regional NSW.”
The petition is available here: megaphone.org.au/petitions/it-s-time-to-protect-regional-jobs-2