'Time to leave': Locals left in terror after Smelter job cuts
WE ALL knew it was a possibility, but now that the reality of a huge cut to the Boyne Smelter workforce is upon us, Gladstone residents have begun to panic.
LATEST UPDATES | 'Soul destroying': Workers will be axed at Boyne Smelter
Upon breaking the news to Gladstone residents overnight, hundreds of workers, family members, friends of employees and even concerned residents took to Facebook to express their anger and sadness at the situation.
While the amount of jobs to be cut has yet to be revealed, Boyne Smelter Limited general manager Joe Rea said he will move to cut production and jobs "quickly".
Yesterday, Mr Rea told workers they could not reach a deal with electricity generators, meaning jobs will be lost.
This follows two months of negotiating with power generators for a deal to replace BSL's 140MWh position on the fluctuating spot market.
Mr Rea told The Observer he wanted to keep the next step of cutting jobs a "short process".
There are mixed opinions on Facebook, with some commenting that it is the company's own fault not locking into a contract earlier.
However, others blame the State Government, claiming that the massive spike in the price of power was outrageous, and that the government should have stepped in.
HERE'S WHAT YOU SAID:
Ati Everson I think the family of those affected should start a petition with the government. It's so terrible that QLD government couldn't care less.
Nick Maunders To do what though Ati? It's a privately owned company. Price of aluminium is down, cost of resources is up. Its business. What can the government do?
Rieland Plate Its BSLs own fault for not accepting a generous fixed price at the end of last year. They just want to reduce their workforce as a cost cutting measure.
This way it looks like someone else is to blame for their actions. That is exactly the nonsense false information that BSL is feeding to its workers and the community to avoid them looking like the bad guys.
This was their decision to take the market price even after being warned multiple times that the price would spike to a very high amount during this hot summer.
They ignored it after years of doing the right thing and now workers are going to lose their jobs because of it.
The government has nothing to do with it, they don't regulate the power prices.
Ati Everson My husband works there it's the electricity price that's breaking their back and not making it worth producing extra. It's government being in debt and trying to make money out of everyone and anything possible.
Luke Godbee Might be time to pull the roots up and leave. All i see an hear about gladstone these days are shops closing or people getting laid off.
Annie Williams My son has just bought himself a car. This is the first permanent job he's ever had, it terrifies me that he could lose his job.
Jessica Anne Gibson We have 3 children to support. I pray this is not that case. Last thing I want is for my hubby to have to do FIFO.
David Weir It was a Labor Government who sold the power stations to private enterprise, and it's that stupid decision that is resulting in what we're now seeing.
Michael Fearns It has to more than simply the cost to buy in electricity , which has a simple solution , build your own electricity generators . A Chinese piston manufacturer was upset about the cost of the ingots which was affecting their viability . Solution they built their own smelter .
The Observer will have more information to come.