Hastings Deering warns future unclear for all employees

HASTINGS Deering is exploring cost reduction initiatives after workers blocked the company's latest enterprise agreement offering.

Late Sunday night the company's renewed EA was voted against following 12 months of "genuine negotiations", Hastings said in a statement.

This is the second knock back for the company, which is one of the largest employers in Central Queensland.

Having cut 700 jobs state-wide in the past two years, the company now says there is uncertainty for all employees.

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Hastings Deering's managing director Dean Mehmet said the result was disappointing and the company was now considering seeking assistance from the Fair Work Commission.

"Employee representatives, the AMWU and the company have worked tirelessly since the initial vote in November last year to produce a revised agreement that would have provided security for the company and its employees," he said.

"The agreement offered two years of certainty, giving us the ability to compete for business and deliver value to our customers. The wage rates, together with the terms, provided a highly competitive employment package."

Mr Mehmet said the company was suffering due to the loss of key contracts following the "dramatic slow-down" of the mining sector.

He said this situation now left the company in a period of uncertainty for all employees.

Brad Hanson from the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union said the company should focus its efforts on finding a solution.

"The employees are obviously unhappy... they (Hastings) would be better off focusing their energy on exploring different avenues to resolve that and finalise an agreement," he said.

Mr Hanson said the company told employees the cost-cutting procedures would happen regardless of the acceptance of the agreement.

He also said the union's representatives had already informed Hastings the vote would be unsuccessful.

"The last document that went out... we told them we didn't think it would be accepted," he said.

Hastings numbers

Hastings Deering has about 4000 staff in operation; 2000 of those are placed in CQ, with 560 in Rockhampton.



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