NECA Group

News & Views

24th March 2020

NECA NSW and ETU NSW Branch collaborate to keep sites open, support jobs and businesses

The National Electrical and Communications Association NSW and Electrical Trade Union NSW Branch today announced they would be working together to keep worksites open while it is safe to do so, and to support electrical industry jobs and businesses in the current COVID 19 crisis.

Crucially, they will be engaging government and building firms to ensure sites stay open for as long as it is safe to do so with the Health and Safety of the workers and the community being the first priority.

Only government ordered shutdowns on the advice or directive of state or federal Chief Medical Officers are currently seen as a justification to close a site.  Any contaminated site should be cleaned immediately so it can be reopened as soon as possible.

NECA NSW is also developing a set of proposals for government stimulus to support the contracting industry and the wider business community.  Potential measures being considered by NECA NSW include government investment to expedite electrical repair and maintenance, energy efficiency upgrades, especially in government buildings that are unoccupied or have limited occupancy.  NECA NSW will be seeking support from unions and other industry bodies for such measures.

Oliver Judd, Executive Director of NECA NSW, said:

“These are unprecedented times and NECA is committed to working tirelessly on behalf of members to keep businesses running.  We will be supporting members to hold builders to account and keep sites open while it is safe to do so.

“At this stage, our understanding is that government ordered shutdowns on the advice or directive of state or federal Chief Medical Officers are the only rationale for site shutdowns. We expect builders to adhere to this and will be challenging any that do not.

“We are working closely with government and will be developing broader proposals for spending that will help the electrical contracting industry during the crisis.   We must work together to support jobs and businesses.”

Justin Page from the ETU said:

“The best way to navigate through this crisis is by collaborating.  By doing this we hope to limit the damage to the electrical contracting industry and jobs.

“The ETU NSW Branch believes that it is not in the interest of the industry and its workforce for sites to be closed down partially or fully due to COVID-19, although we must all maintain public and private health standards for everyone in the community by putting appropriate safety controls in place.”