HR Leader logo
Stay connected.   Subscribe  to our newsletter

Corporate greed affecting other industries

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read

The movement of fighting back against corporate greed has added another valued industry, with NSW energy workers flying in from the top rope to strike for fair pay.

A number of different working industries have been calling upon the leadership in their respective sectors to adapt and “do the right thing” by their employees by adjusting their pay rates to fit the current inflation climate.

More than 1,000 workers from Transgrid and Endeavor Energy walked off the job on 8 February for 24 hours, with demands of a fair pay. A rally was then held at Parramatta Square with workers striving for a wage deal that keeps pace with the ghastly living costs that a number of Australians are struggling with.


The kicker for the workers is the fact that wages at Endeavour Energy have risen just 10.5 per cent since 2019, while inflation has risen to 18 per cent. Transgrid’s wages have also only increased 8 per cent over that same period.

This same frugalness has not been passed onto Endeavour Energy corporate costs, which are in excess of 400 per cent over that very same period. Electrical Trades Union of Australia NSW/ACT secretary Allen Hicks has called out the “grubbiness” of these corporate entities.

“These privatised energy operators are raking it in, while workers’ pay has plummeted in real terms,” said Mr Hicks.

“Workers simply cannot afford to keep going backwards. Pay rises have moved at half the rate of the inflation. Take home pay is shrinking.”

Energy workers are not alone in this fight, with a number of other sectors pushing back against similar themes of corporate greed while workers are constantly struggling to make ends meet.

University workers in Victoria intensified protests over pay and conditions. The mining industry is another that has continued protests and strikes, with employees departing from their roles for seven days after their conditions weren’t met. The University of Queensland also had staffers go on strikes in 2023 with similar conditions regarding fair pay; this process went on for over 600 days.

This now common practice can be pinpointed to similar causes, often a mix of higher-ups’ neglect and greed coupled with overwhelming cost-of-living impacts. The energy strike is just the latest in a fiasco highlighting the disparity between wealth classes and how inflation affects them.

Mr Hicks added that these strikes aren’t going away anytime soon if the bosses don’t come to the table.

“We’ll continue ramping up industrial action until these bosses agree to sit down and agree to a pay deal that recognised the surging cost of living,” Mr Hicks said.

This protected industrial action will push out the ongoing maintenance backlog and further disrupt operations, including the troubled $2.3 billion electricity interconnector known as Project EnergyConnect. This puts the acid back on the privatised energy operators to come to a swift resolution that appeases the workers.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.