You are probably aware the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) yesterday published the results of the protected action ballot that has been running for the past three weeks. I would simply like to confirm those results for ETU members and add a bit of commentary in relation to the outcome from the protected action ballot.
The ETU supplied a confidential list of ETU members to the Australian Electoral Commission as required for the ballot on the 23rd of September 2013. As you know, Essential Energy supplied a list to the AEC that the ETU successfully argued did not properly cover the Order that was made by the Fair Work Commission. By the time the company did supply a further list of names the Australian Electoral Commission had closed the ballot, meaning that those employees were denied the right to vote.
I have just had a look at the Declaration of results issued by the AEC and I am extremely concerned to see that the variation in numbers supplied by the ETU and the ballots issued by the AEC is close to 10% and that position must now be thoroughly investigated to establish why there is such a large variation, it is possible that Essential Energy supplied a list that denied the voting rights of up to 10% of ETU members employed by Essential Energy.
The figures from the ballot are staggering and given the fact that postal ballots are notoriously difficult to get employees to vote on, especially in areas where there are remote locations, to get over 65% of ETU members voting is indicative of the strong views of members in relation to this ballot. If the proper list had of been supplied to the AEC then i believe that number would have been closer to 75%.
When the actual voting is analysed then the results are clear and members have sent management a very strong message about their agreement.
Q1 RE: STOPPAGES UP TO 72 HOURS. 92% OF MEMBERS VOTED YES
Q2 RE: STRIKES, 1 WEEK / INDEFINITE. 84% OF MEMBERS VOTED YES
Q3 RE: WORK BANS. 94% OF MEMBERS VOTED YES
Q4 RE: PERFORMANCE OF WORK. 92% OF MEMBERS VOTED YES
As a result of discussions and consultation with your ETU delegates, the ETU will begin to make 7 day notifications as required under the legislation of our intention to take industrial action. Essential Energy will probably try and get you to vote on their unchanged agreement and members are advised to vote NO in any Enterprise Agreement ballot that is attempted in the next little while. We will be running a NO campaign if management attempt that trick and the ETU will provide further advice as it comes to hand.
Yours in unity