QR denied job losses

A QR National employee says a letter from the company to its staff just four months before it offered workers redundancy packages exposes the organisation’s hypocrisy.

A formal letter from QR National chief executive Lance Hockridge sent to employees in October last year was shown to The Queensland Times.

It stated union predictions of job cuts at QR National were untruthful.

But it did not take long for those rumours to become fact, as 3500 employees, 700 of which are based in Ipswich, were targeted with redundancy packages this week.

The employee, who asked not to be named, said the QR National management could not lie straight in bed.

In the letter, Mr Hockridge attempted to dispel media reports of mass job cuts.

“What is very disappointing however is when people make claims without basis and designed simply to create concern among our people,” Mr Hockridge wrote.

“Rail union representative, Owen Doogan, has done that this morning by claiming that 940 QR National jobs are at risk. This is simply not true.

“QR National is a growing business and we need more people, not less.”

But on Wednesday, the company announced cuts to its workforce through voluntary redundancies, offering packages to a third of it’s of staff.

While QR is not asking anyone to leave the company, there will be hundreds of people who accept their redundancy offer.

Those people will not be replaced, meaning Ipswich is poised to lose skilled manufacturing jobs.

The company issued a media statement yesterday regarding the voluntary redundancies.

“Under the proposed scheme, no staff member will be asked to consider a redundancy package unless they ask for one,” the statement said.

“We have proposed a VR scheme at this time for operational reasons and to help ensure the size of sections of our workforce are relative to our competitors.”

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