News

Blow for workers with job losses a bitter pill

THE festive season was anything but joyous for 40 manufacturing workers who lost their jobs before Christmas.

Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union state organiser Steve Franklin told the QT that 23 employees had been made redundant at Steel Mains at Wacol and about 20 workers at Austin Engineering, based in Carole Park.

Mr Franklin said Austin Engineering would be closing their Carole Park facility in February but would retain sites in Mackay and the Hunter Valley.

He said the Carole Park facility has previously had more than 100 workers on site, building truck trays, coal screens and scrapers for the mining industry, and had been losing work for two years.

"About 20 employees lost their jobs last week, which will only leave about 10 on site until February," he said.

Mr Franklin said in its heyday, Steel Mains had upwards of 220 employees but would close its site after March 31. The site was established back in 1980 and was known at that time as Tubemakers. The business has made pipes for the Queensland water grid, desalination plants and the mining and gas industries. They have also made a cement lined pipe for industry.

Mr Franklin said 35 employees would remain on site until March after 23 workers were made redundant on December 17.

He said the redundancies made the Christmas break one of uncertainty and sadness for the workers and their families, and those who had just a few months of assured work left.

"It is hard for all of the families over Christmas," he said.

"For employees finishing in February it means Christmas is going to be hampered a lot because you know you are going to be out of work shortly after the kids go back to school.

"It means looking for jobs over the Christmas period, and as we all know jobs are hard to come by especially in engineering."

Mr Franklin said it was a blow when manufacturing sites closed.

"We are going to lose the knowledge in the area and it is very difficult to restart industries.

"It is going to make it easier for companies to go overseas when there are no local industries to pick up the work."

The QT was unable to reach either Steel Mains or Austin Engineering for comment.

Topics:  employment ipswich job losses jobs job seekers workers



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