Aurizon employees rally against the newly announced job cuts.
Aurizon employees rally against the newly announced job cuts. Emily Pidgeon

55 Gladstone workers facing redundancy say company failed

AFTER almost four decades of employment with the same company, one man is facing the threat of redundancy along with 55 others.

Aurizon train driver Warren Hines has been in the rail industry for 39 years and said the recent job cuts hurt more with the current employment opportunities in town.

"For a lot of people this is what they've done all their lives ... I've only had two jobs in my life," Mr Hines said.

"39 years in the rail industry is a long time."

Mr Hines said Aurizon were slashing permanent positions and employing casuals which would have a knock on effect on the community.

"I'm working with blokes (who) in the last couple of weeks have bought their kids are going to school, their wives don't work - what's the future if they get a tap on shoulder," he said.

"It's heart breaking."

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Aurizon employee Brendan Smith said he had only ever worked at the company, making the announced redundancies disappointing.

"This is a career for me straight out of school, I know nothing else," he said.

With 33 years at Aurizon under his belt, Mr Smith said his family had suffered while he worked difficult hours.

"That amounts to a hell of a lot of night shifts and my family has sacrificed those time, those special times ... it's about them as well," he said.

Unsure whether he will be able to afford to send his youngest son to university, Mr Smith said living with the uncertainty of redundancy would be stressful.

"The fact it's going to carry on for 12 months, you may not get tap on the back this time round, it may be September, November, March or June next year," he said.

"Our lives are on hold now for at least 12 months."

Yesterday, about 30 Aurizon workers, family and community members including Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, rallied together in protest against the job cuts.

With the purpose of the rally to get Gladstone involved, Australian Federal Union of Locomotive Employees state organiser Mick McKitrick said Aurizon would cut more jobs if there was no community reaction.

"It's about establishing our way forward, it's the first of many rallies - we're dealing with largest rail operator in Australia."

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