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THE Hunter Region is wearing the brunt of big job cuts announced by freight rail company Pacific National.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says the company announced redundancies today for more than 120 employees, most of them in the Hunter Region, and mostly train drivers.
The job cuts follow a Newcastle Herald article on Tuesday in which the company did not dispute rumours that 50 jobs were on the line.
Union organiser Steve Wright said that after seeking clarification from the company, it told workers in the Illawarra about the cuts on Wednesday afternoon, and in Newcastle on Thursday morning.
Most were drivers of coal trains, while others were involved in “live run” and rostering sections – work that Pacific National said was being centralised in North Sydney.
Mr Wright said 32 drivers and 25 live run jobs were going from Port Waratah. More than 30 jobs were going from Port Kembla, with the rest going from Greta, Gunnedah and Narrabri.
He said Pacific National was trying to “casualise the industry by stealth”.
“At the same time that they are presenting redundancies to their permanent workforce they are advertising for casual drivers with employment agencies,” Mr Wright said.
He said the relevant enterprise agreement stressed “a majority of permanent workers, but even that allows them to move to 49 per cent casual, which is what they seem to be wanting to do”.
The Herald is seeking a response from Pacific National.
This article first appeared on www.theherald.com.au
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