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More job losses at Redbank

REDBANK railway workers were left "devastated" after Aurizon broke the news of another round of redundancies yesterday.

Workers were told 85 of the site's 485 staff will be made redundant in the third and most significant round of job cuts since the company was privatised under the Bligh Government.

The redundancies will reduce the workforce - which was more than 700-strong just two years ago - to just over 400.

The announcement blind-sided union officials, who were given no inkling of the pending redundancies at a meeting with Aurizon earlier this week. Electrical Trades Union state organiser Jason Young said he began receiving messages from workers at 7.30am.

"We didn't know it was coming at all. We have been negotiating with Aurizon this week. We had a meeting yesterday and no one said a word to us," he said.

He said morale amongst staff had dropped, adding workers were "devastated, absolutely distraught."

An Aurizon spokesperson said 85 positions were being made redundant at the Redbank facility, while15 new positions were being created.

Aurizon has created 23 new positions at its Rockhampton site.

The spokesperson said the reasons for the proposed changes included a shift in the company's coal and freight haulage business to central Queensland.

The spokesperson also pointed to reduced activity at workshops as a result of ongoing rationalisation, improved maintenance strategies and changed maintenance schedules.

Staff will be able to apply for one of the newly created positions.

"There is no forced redundancy for employees at these sites," the spokesperson said.

"Employees in affected roles are able to seek redeployment to new roles...or can express an interest in the voluntary redundancy scheme.

"This provides the flexibility to work with employees and place as many people as possible into roles while allowing people seeking voluntary redundancy to leave the company.

"No final decisions will be made until we've completed consultation with employees."

Mr Young said the redundancies would be spread throughout the five different workshops.

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