NEW Hope Group is set to shed part of its Ipswich workforce as it deals with plummeting thermal coal prices.
The company's executive general manager Jim Randell addressed New Hope's Jeebropilly mine workers at the Ipswich Worker's Club yesterday afternoon.
The QT understands that 13 production jobs and a significant number of administration roles will be made redundant, while workshop employees could face having their daily shifts reduced from 12 to 8 hours.
New Hope refused to confirm the exact number of redundancies yesterday, but did admit that it has identified "productivity improvements" which would result in a number of redundancies in its West Moreton operations.
The company started conducting an efficiency review of West Moreton operations in April this year, with the interim results of that review announced yesterday.
A final decision on redundancies will be made on May 23, following further consultation with workers.
New Hope Group CEO Shane Stephan said the industry had been hit hard with a significant drop in the coal price, coupled with a strong Australian dollar.
"The New Hope Group has been proactively reviewing its cost structures for some time as a result of the downturn," he said.
"The continuing difficult times for the coal industry have required some difficult decisions to be taken regarding employment to allow the company to endure this low point in the cycle and emerge in the best shape possible when conditions improve."
New Hope has promised that employees affected by redundancies would receive professional advice to help find jobs elsewhere.
Mr Stephan said the review not impact on production at the company's coal operations, with current tonnages being maintained.
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