The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has been warned it could lose up to $200 million in benefits, if it does not pass an extension of the strike, on top of the $1.2 billion a day the company had forecast for its full-year earnings.
The union, which is representing about 20,000 workers at AGL, said it would file for the strike extension to be extended and the union would hold a press conference on Monday morning.
The strike was initially scheduled to end on February 1, but has been extended by a further four weeks to March 1.
The unions general secretary, Andrew Wilson, said the union had received a letter from the government stating the extension of strikes was on the table, and that it would be “highly unlikely” the union could win an extension.
He said the extension would not stop AGL from going ahead with the strike.
Mr Wilson said AGL’s decision to postpone the strike was due to the need to ensure the company was in the “best possible position to achieve full and timely pay increases”.
He said workers had not been consulted about the decision and had not received a “clear explanation” of why the extension was being considered.
“We are in a very tight financial position and we need to make the most of it,” he said.
“It is a tough situation, but the union has made clear we need a full extension, and if we do not get one, we are prepared to go on strike.”
Mr Wilson told the ABC’s 7.30 program the extension could mean workers could lose an additional $200,000 or more if they did not agree to the extension.
MrWilson said the strike had already had a significant impact on AGL and other companies.
“AAPL has been very, very hard on other workers, they’ve had to lay off tens of thousands of people and put up with some of the worst unemployment in the world,” he told the program.
“But it is also affected by the government’s decisions and its cuts to the welfare system, and we see the impact that that has had on the economy.”
AAPMU union secretary, Mark Wilson, has said the company has “not done a very good job” of informing workers.
Mr Taylor said the unions “do not support the continuation of the AGL strike, which we believe will be destructive for our business and the Australian manufacturing sector”.
“We expect the Government to recognise the importance of workers’ rights and the fact that there is a growing movement of employers who are trying to keep their jobs and not be affected by what is happening at AFLW,” he added.
AAP is Australia’s second-biggest private employer, after Westpac, and employs more than 6,000 people at A-League clubs and arenas.
The company is currently embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Westpac over the entitlements of its staff.