Dozens of workers and union officials staged a protest at Ausgrid’s head office in Sydney after they failed to continue the Asbestos removal in its substations. The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) argues the electricity distributor has reduced resources from its Asbestos removal team and stalled the removal of the carcinogenic substance from several substations across the city.
Workers clad in protective suits, carrying banners and chanting “shame, Ausgrid, shame” staged a protest outside Ausgrid’s head office in Sydney on Friday, slamming the company for breaching a 2013 agreement to get rid of the Asbestos. Ausgrid said it responded to the ETU shortly before the planned protest began on Friday, stating the claims were untrue.
“We have investigated these matters and on the information available to us have found they cannot be substantiated,” Ausgrid acting CEO Trevor Armstrong said. “Over the past 12 months alone, we have audited 231 substations and conducted Asbestos surveys of 944 network sites.”
Ausgrid entered into an agreement with the ETU in 2013, stating it would begin removal of identified Asbestos containing electrical panels in substations and audit others with a lower risk level. “We continue to remediate and remove Asbestos from our network where it is identified and independent expert licensed assessors deem a risk to be present,” Mr Armstrong said.
Yet ETU organiser Mark Buttigieg said this response was not good enough and that all Asbestos should be removed