QR National jobs to be shed
HUNDREDS of jobs are to be shed from QR National and workers at Ipswich's Redbank workshops won't be spared.
Directors of the freight haulage company, which currently employs about 700 people at Redbank, spent yesterday afternoon in meetings with union officials after announcing it planned to continue the restructuring process that began with hundreds of redundancies last year.
Following the meeting, QR National said more than 500 employees across the state would be made redundant.
While it was unclear exactly how many jobs would go at Redbank, union officials said all staff at the workshops would be able to apply for redundancy.
QR National CEO Lance Hockridge said a legacy of bureaucracy from the company's previous government ownership was part of the problem.
"Our cost base is too high when compared to competitors and rail industry peers," Mr Hockridge said.
"While QR National continues to grow, we need to better serve customers and improve our operating and financial performance if we are to safeguard an ongoing strong future for our company, our employees and shareholders."
The announcement flies in the face of the former government's pledge that every employee would have a three-year job guarantee following the government sell-off in 2010.
Less than two years later, QR National has already made more than 600 positions redundant.
The company has promised no forced redundancies and no forced relocations for the majority of employees.
Electrical Trades Union organiser Jason Young said QR National had its sights set on shedding 6500 of the 9000 positions across the state.
"I think it's just another kick in the guts for all QR National employees and part of the slow death caused by privatisation," he said. "QR National does not care about regional communities because it is now all about the almighty dollar."
QR National human resources spokesman John Stephens said QR National would take aim at management and supervisory levels, back-office support and "non-core" business activity.
A consultation period with staff and unions was proposed to run from yesterday until June 22, with reforms to come into place by mid-August.