Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Aurizon Plans to Shut Rocky Workshop, 180+ Jobs on Line

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Aurizon Plans to Shut Rocky Workshop, 180+ Jobs on Line

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke J. Mortimer Luke.Mortimer@capnews.com.au

THE "BIGGEST kick in the guts" unfolded in the lunchroom where Aurizon's Rockhampton workers were yesterday told their jobs were gone, a worker said.

An offer to relocate 40 of 181 workers who will lose their jobs when Aurizon shuts its Bolsover St workshop showed what little Aurizon's head honchos knew about those who worked in our city all their lives.

On top of the Rockhampton workers, 126 at depots at Bluff, Gladstone, and Stanwell will also lose their jobs in Aurizon's proposed restructure to be rolled out by the end of next year.

But the worker, Jeff (whose asked to remain anonymous), has told of a cringeworthy attempt by a "bloke high up the ladder" to relate to the workers as he delivered the news.

"He was trying to say he lived in this town for a couple of years and he knows what it's like," he said.

"What would he know about living in this town for generations?"

Jeff, a single dad who raises his children with his ex-partner in Rockhampton, said there was no way he could leave with his entire family in Rockhampton.

"I've got deep roots in this town," he said.

"My family has lived here for over 100 years."

Aurizon's head of operations Michael Carter said the changes were needed to keep the business competitive.

Mr Carter said both technology and efficiencies found in its workshops unravelled plans to expand its Rockhampton workshop.

"What's actually happened over the last few years is increased technology and efficiency on our train operations has meant there is nowhere near as much work needed at the workshop," he said.

"We are always trying to look at what's the best decision for our business at the time."

Mr Carter said the fluctuating month-to-month demands of its customers meant it was paying for a workforce it did not need. …

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