STANDING FIRM: Workers at Rockhampton's Aurizon workshop line up for a burger provided by the unions. A rally is being planned for next Monday.
STANDING FIRM: Workers at Rockhampton's Aurizon workshop line up for a burger provided by the unions. A rally is being planned for next Monday. Christine McKee

Aurizon advertise positions straight after 'savage' job cuts

WORKERS are faced with the unemployment queue and union organisers don't plan on taking the closure of Aurizon's Rockhampton workshop lying down.

A rally is planned for Monday next week to tell the company to stick to its word and keep the local workshop open.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union spokesman Peter Lyon said he understood the wheel shop would be moved north with the rest of the work to be tendered out.

"Aurizon have been planning this process for five years," he said.

"It's been one savage cut after another, then eventually there's no-one left here and they say it's not efficient.

"Years ago over 1000 people worked here and when I came on board over five years ago there was about 650."

All that will remain of Aurizon at Rockhampton will be the intermodal area after the middle of 2018.

Mr Lyon said 20 workers would be retrenched by the end of August, another section before Christmas with the remainder during the first half of next year.

But as the company continues to advertise for casual staff, Rockhampton's workers are finding it a bitter pill to swallow.

An Aurizon spokesman yesterday confirmed current recruitment includes permanent and casual positions across Queensland. He said the model using a mix of permanent employees and contractors was fairly standard in the industries the company operates in.

"Aurizon remains committed to employing people in regional areas to deliver its services," he said.

"Following the proposed changes announced last week, Aurizon will still employ approximately almost 400 people at its Gladstone and Callemondah operations, and more than 2000 people across Central Queensland (Gladstone to Mackay and west)."



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