100+ Boyne Smelter workers to be axed as job losses near
MORE than 100 jobs are expected to be lost at Boyne Smelter Limited, according to a local union organiser.
The Australian Workers central Queensland organiser Zac Beers said their expected figure was "a tragedy".
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"The horror that is unfolding for so many families in our community as a result of this issue is nothing short of an absolute tragedy," Mr Beers said.
"At a time when the town and region is already doing it so tough, hundreds of workers are now facing the prospect of losing their job."
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He said after talking to BSL union members they are expecting more than 100 job losses.
While BSL does not have an official union presence, Mr Beers said they still had "a number" of members on site
"It won't be insignificant. We've heard numbers as high as 150 which is obviously pretty devastating."
"It's an absolute horror," he said.
Rio Tinto owned Boyne Smelter Limited employs just over 1000 locals.
General manager Joe Rea announced yesterday they would cut 14 per cent of production, which equates to about 81,000 tonnes.
The production cut is expected to be worth up to US160 million at current prices.
Mr Rea said workers would be involved in negotiations for jobs cuts, with talks already underway for voluntary redundancies.
"We are running sessions with our people now to get their input to help shape the organisation," Mr Rea said.
"Every time we have an issue here where we confront headwinds we involve our people, that's just the BSL way.
"We'll do whatever we can to reduce the number of people impacted, and that's why I want to listen to our people, because they have made some of the best ideas for many years."