Middlemount South has announced 70 jobs will be axed.
Middlemount South has announced 70 jobs will be axed. Emily Smith

UPDATE: Middlemount loses 150 jobs in months

UPDATE 1.30pm: THE CFMEU is blaming Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry after 70 jobs were slashed at Foxleigh coal mine.

Middlemount South announced Tuesday morning that the jobs would be cut as it moved to employ two contracting companies from March.  

Given 82 jobs at German Creek mine were axed at the end of last year, it could leave the town of Middlemount with about 150 fewer jobs than it had months ago.

CFMEU mining and engineering Queensland district senior vice-president Mitch Hughes said local politicians needed to do more to stand up for the families who voted them in to represent their interests. 

"When will politicians stand up against mining giants who continue to be allowed to seek further profits at the expense of the local workforce, and in spite of impacts to the local economy?” Mr Hughes asked.

The union's district vice-president, Chris Brodsky, described the move as "yet another attack on workplace rights” and the latest episode in the increasing casualisation in the mining sector.

"We have seen a shift in the mining industry to an increasingly hostile workforce where workers are living week to week with no certainty over their future. This casualisation of the sector has a devastating effect on workers, their families and the local economy,” Mr Hughes said.

"It is shameful this company is continuing to pick off workers and seeking to replace them with vulnerable outside labour hire employees in insecure jobs. 

"We call on Ms Landry to deliver on her election promise and fight for secure, local jobs.”

Ms Landry has been contacted for comment.

More to come.  

EARLIER: OUTSOURCING labour to two contracting companies will see 70 jobs axed at Middlemount South's Foxleigh coal mine.

Middlemount South chief operating officer Scott Graham said the company needed to reduce production costs to extend the life of the operation.

It now plans to do so by outsourcing labour to two coal industry contractors - Sedgeman Contractors and Comiskey Mining Services - who will undertake the wash plant operations and the "maintenance and mobile maintenance activities”.

Mr Graham said the company was committed to undertaking the transition in a "fair and respectful way”.

He said counselling and financial advice would be made available.

"Additionally, a number of our mining personnel are accepting voluntary redundancies, with all personnel to receive their full entitlements, as well as the opportunity to interview with the new contractors,” he said.

"Our primary goal is to achieve the lower unit cost of production required to make the mine profitable over the long-term. The new operating model will ensure the mine's ongoing operation and its ability to be a strong local provider of jobs well into the future," he said.

Middlemount South bought the stake off Anglo American in August last year.

More to come.