Union eyes rail lay-off packages
IPSWICH rail workers have until March 25 to apply for QR National's voluntary redundancy offers, with the company keeping tight-lipped on interest in the packages.
Applications opened on March 4, with 3500 workers eligible for the package, but a QR National spokesman said not that many redundancies would be given out.
Under the scheme, no staff member will be asked to consider a redundancy package unless they ask for one.
While exact numbers of eligible staff from the 700-plus workforce at Redbank Rollingstock and Component Services workshops is unknown, union officials say many would be keen to take them up.
Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Owen Doogan, who recently became national president of the union, said some members were eyeing off the redundancy packages.
He said the union was keeping a close eye on the scheme.
“We've had full consultation with QR National,” Mr Doogan said.
“There are people who get to a certain point in life where they'll have an interest in voluntary redundancy.
“Nearly one thousand people have asked about how much they would get, but a substantial number said they were only seeing how much they were worth.”
A QR National spokesman said the redundancies would be made in a way that would ensure safety was not compromised at any of their sites.
He said positions such as traineeships and apprenticeships would not be affected by the redundancies.
QR National split from Queensland Rail mid last year and was floated on the stock exchange in November.
Workers were given a three-year job guarantee from the point of privatisation.
In its half-year report to the stock exchange on February 28, QR National said the voluntary redundancy scheme was initiated to reduce staff numbers “to enable QR National to be more competitive”.