WATCH: No answers for NRG workers after meeting
WORKERS at NRG are no closer to knowing whether or not their jobs are secure after today's meeting between management and union representatives.
Almost every employee at the plant was at the meeting following rumours that 40 jobs at Gladstone Power Station would be cut as big industry faces falling commodity prices and increased financial pressure.
But according to unions NRG is still waiting for a decision from its joint partners Rio Tinto which is expected to be made on March 9.
NRG Energy declined to comment on the meeting, however it has confirmed an early retirement program is on offer for 88 of the 220 workers at the power station.
The work agreement between NRG and the unions guarantees the 220 on-site positions, but that agreement expires at the end of this year.
Central Queensland organiser for the Electrical Trades Union Craig Giddens described the meeting as "fiery" and said it was clear "the station manager wasn't in a position to make decisions."
At least six workers in management positions have already been told their positions are no longer available and Mr Giddens said the uncertainty is creating anxiety among the workers.
Mr Giddens said the tension had brewing since April when the first signs the company was planning a restructure appeared.
Unions have already filed an application with the Fair Work Commission in the hopes the company will be forced to show its hand and explain the situation to anxious workers.
MANAGEMENT at NRG has agreed to a meeting with workers today to discuss possible job losses at the Gladstone Power Station.
However workers aren't expecting any clarification on rumoured job losses, with union officials told the company is yet to make a decision.
Reporter Helen Spelitis explains the impacts on the workers and their families
A dispute has already been lodged with the Fair Work Commission and depending of the outcome of today, industrial action will be the next step.
The Observer understand NRG won't make a decision until March 9 after discussions with its partners Rio Tinto.
ANXIOUS about their futures, workers at NRG power station have called a 'stop work' meeting on Friday following rumours the company is planning mass job cuts.
Of the 220 workers at the Gladstone Power Station 40 positions are said to go amid budget cuts and pressure to increase profit margins.
But the cuts would go against the company's work agreement with unions which guarantees 220 on-site positions including trades and management, according to unions.
NRG Gladstone general manager John Abbott did not comment on job security of the power station's 220 employees, but confirmed an "early voluntary retirement program", open to employees older than 55, had been introduced.
"We don't yet know how many employees will express an interest in this program," Mr Abbott said.
However it's not an offer of early retirement that has people worried.
Electrical Trades Union Central Queensland organiser Craig Giddens said workers were uncertain because the company hadn't given out any official information about rumoured job losses.
We understand at least six employees have already been told their positions no longer exist.
Anxious workers have called Friday's meeting to ask the management team for answers.
"This is all about the bottom line. (NRG) has been told to increase its profits, and the only way to do that at this point is to get rid of some staff," Mr Giddens said.
Last year NRG was among other sites around Gladstone partly owned by Rio Tinto which notified unions there would be no pay increases for 12 months as the company worked to reduce costs.
Do you know more about this story? Call 4970 3019.