Union says jobs will go

THE AUSTRALIAN Manufacturing Workers Union warned yesterday that up to 100 skilled trade workers could be sacked at QR National's Redbank workshops.

The AMWU said workers had been told they would either lose their jobs or be forced to move to Toowoomba.

AMWU acting state secretary Rohan Webb said QR National had failed to consult with workers before the announcement that 500 jobs would be cut across the state.

"There are more than 30 positions in the Locomotive Maintenance Department at Redbank, as well as another 20 in the foundry there. They will definitely close them down, and the wagon shop is also under threat," Mr Webb said.

"The company told some workers there was still a job for them with QRN - but it was in Toowoomba.

"It is a 'take it or leave it' ultimatum that contravenes the agreement between QRN and unions. The agreement has a 'no forced redundancy, no forced relocation' provision."

The Electrical Trades Union said it also feared for the future of QR National's Redbank operations, following meetings with directors of the freight haulage company this week.

ETU organiser for transport Jason Young said every employee at Redbank was within the company's sights.

Across Queensland, Mr Young said, QR National viewed 6500 jobs of the total workforce of 9000 as being an excess.

"At Redbank, there are about 692 employees, and they are all what the company refers to as 'in scope'," Mr Young said.

"There are no guarantees in this process. Theoretically, QR National could accept applications for redundancy from all the Redbank employees."

But that is unlikely to happen this year.

Instead, Mr Young believes the Redbank arm of QR National will die a prolonged death.

"Places like Redbank are in charge of large overhauls, which take a lot of time and don't turn over a quick profit," Mr Young said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they contract this sort of thing out in the future."

The Member for Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller, said she was keen to find out the impact on Redbank workers.