News

QAL workers in anxious 11 day wait to hear of job losses

UPDATE 

WORKERS at QAL will have to wait at least 11 more days to find out whether their positions are secure. 

Management is still reluctant to reveal how many jobs are on the line however The Observer understands 70 is an accurate expectation.

QAL has confirmed it will make a formal announcement during the week of March 21.

LISTEN: Reporter Helen Spelitis explains;


YESTERDAY

UPDATE: 4pm:

Union delegates representing QAL workers were in talks for most of the day with the site's management, AMWU's Phil Golby said.

Mr Golby said there is no word yet on how many workers were likely to be made redundant.

However, at this point, 70 is his best estimate.

>> READ: Gladstone dad desperate for job: 'I'd work on a s--- farm'

That's on top of 60 to 80 support staff made redundant last month.

Mr Golby says he understands the situation QAL is facing and the unions are working towards ensuring there are no forced redundancies.

"We have seen a company decide they are going to make their workforce smaller and they need to be able to make up their own minds about how that happens," Mr Golby said. 

Reporter Helen Spelitis explains how "front line" workers are affected

EARLIER: 

MARCH will be an anxious month for many workers at QAL following an announcement today that more jobs will go.

Management has been tight-lipped on the number of positions facing the axe at one of the town's biggest employers, but has confirmed frontline positions are now included in the review targeting cost-cutting.

Workers will find out at the end of the month whether or not they still have a job.

Union representatives from the ETU, AMWU and AWU met with management today to begin the consultation process as QAL facing increasing market pressures. 

Union delegates have been in talks for most of the day with QAL management, AMWU's Phil Golby says.

Tthere's no official word on how many jobs will go in this round of redundancies, however Mr Golby said, at this point, 70 is the best estimate.

Have you been affected? Tell us 4970 3019

In February 60 to 80 people were made redundant from QAL following an announcement the business would go through "a review".

At the time QAL general manager Mike Dunstan hoped further job losses would happen through "natural attrition".

However today a QAL spokesman confirmed that was no longer the company's view and that more cost cutting was needed to counteract "the challenging market conditions facing the aluminium industry."

In a site notice issued to employees today General Manager Mike Dunstan said he understood if workers found the announcement "unsettling".

The site notice given to QAL workers.
The site notice given to QAL workers.

"This is a difficult but necessary decision," Mr Dunstan wrote.

"We had hoped time was on our side to achieve reductions through natural attrition but QAL is a business in distress so we must act quickly," the notice went on.

"Furthermore the organisational review has created uncertainty within the workforce with is not helpful."

Mr Golby said he understood the position QAL was facing and the unions are working towards ensuring there were no forced redundancies.

"We have seen a company decide they are going to make their workforce smaller and they need to be able to make up their own minds about how that happens," Mr Golby said. 

Today's announcement, targeting operational staff, will not affect those in support roles impacted by February's job cuts.

Despite recent rumours that QAL hired about 40 new staff following February's job losses, the company has confirmed a recruitment freeze has been in place since November and those claims are baseless.

While shocking, the news would not come as a surprise for workers who were warned in early January that, amid record low commodity prices, redundancies were on on the table. 

A similar company review is ongoing at Yarwun, but no announcements on redundancies have been made yet.  

More to come ...

RELATED: Workers axed as alumina price plummets to 25-year-low 

NEED TO TALK? Call Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis

Topics:  alumina, editors picks, gladstone, qal, rio tinto




Magistrate sends man's 'serious' sex act case to district court

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Sex intruder case 'serious', goes to District Court

Busy Gladstone facility to receive $3m revamp

Community and youth development officer Bec Frost is really happy about the new funding for the PCYC. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

The expansion will boost jobs too, with a "locals first” focus.

Bail refused for man accused of having 7.6g ice in car

FILE PHOTO: A drug analysis has yet to be completed but Gladstone man David Johnson has been charged with having 7.6g of ice.

Bail refused for fencer after police find ice in his car

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"