Bluescope Contracted Trucking Company Lets Go Of A Dozen Drivers In Lead-up To Xmas
Release date: 18/12/2015
ABC News, by Emily Laurence, 18 December 2015
A heavy industry services company subcontracting to the Wollongong steelworks has laid off a dozen truck drivers just days out from Christmas.
South Coast Equipment (SCE) pulled workers into individual meetings shortly after they arrived to start their shifts during the past week.
The ABC understands no human resources representative was present to assist the sacked drivers or to advise them of their options.
References were also not provided to the departing workers, many of whom are either single or have young families.
Transport Workers Union branch secretary Nick McIntosh said it was a terrible time of year for them to lose their jobs.
"Some drivers have been there a reasonably short amount of time," Mr McIntosh said.
"You've got others that have been there for a number of years and would have virtually spent their whole careers at South Coast Equipment.
"I don't think there's any great way of breaking this news. I'm not going to say that South Coast handled it in a model fashion."
One of the drivers had worked for SCE for nearly 20 years, a source told the ABC.
Mr McIntosh said the loss of jobs at SCE was a direct a result of ongoing cost cutting at the plant.
"It's all as a result of the ongoing dramas at Bluescope," he said.
"A number of months ago it was even looking like Bluescope was going to try and replace them totally with companies of less stature paying up to $10 an hour, more or less, to the workforce.
"So unfortunately it's been a very tough 12 months for everybody at South Coast Equipment and even tougher, probably, Christmas for these guys that have had to be made redundant because Bluescope has basically said 'we don't want you to employ this many people anymore and this is how many you must make redundant in order to keep the work'."
The Transport Workers Union said some of its sacked members had asked the union to explore possible legal action against SCE.
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