Gas merger costs 800 jopbs


Alinta merger pushes AGL to Melbourne: At the end of the process, the majority of employees of the NSW-formed utility will be based in Melbourne. The gas and electricity supplier is pushing ahead with plans for a $6.8 billion merger with national energy provider Alinta.

200 jobs cut in Adelaide: The news that the wholesale axing of jobs would come from AGL’s head office in Sydney followed the announcement on 7 September that 200 of 1000 planned cuts would come from Adelaide.

Union battles AGL flight from NSW: The Australian Workers’ Union has vowed to fight the plan, saying that the company was blindly relying on a new and untested computer system to replace workers. "We are obviously concerned," said AWU sub-branch secretary James Day. "Most of its 130-year life has been in NSW and they will no longer have a presence here apart from a logo."

NSW Premier caught out on job cuts: The job cuts took the Premier’s office by surprise. It is protocol that when a company is planning large-scale redundancies, it notifies the Premier’s office in advance.

Premier promises "support" for workers: Iemma on 7 September said: "Any support I can lend to workers [to help them retain] their jobs, I will." Iemma stopped short of saying he would intervene to influence the company to change its mind.

Merger no risk to NSW economy: However, he said the impact of the merger and job cuts would not have any impact on the NSW economy, as unemployment rates were at a 20-year low.

AGL says merger necessary: The company argued that a merger was necessary if AGL wanted to remain competitive.

The Daily Telegraph, 8/9/2006, p.11

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