Jobs cut in restructure

Hazelwood Power Station is looking to cut 30 jobs across its station and mining operation in an organisational restructure.

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union mining and energy division Victorian president Luke van der Meulen confirmed International Power was seeking to end 30 positions, with affected workers being alerted Thursday.

Mr van der Meulen said he understood most of the positions were personal contractors, who were not part of the union, and any affected workers covered by enterprise agreements had employment security provisions in place.

“I imagine most of these workers would be Latrobe Valley people and have families; while I understand most are not EA workers, I’m still not happy 30 jobs are going; it will put pressure on our community,” Mr van der Meulen said.

He said the company had recently hired consultants to develop a new organisational structure, outlining new roles and the correlating skills required, while identifying employee surpluses and redundant positions.

“What (International Power) is telling us is they are getting people from within the business who have been identified as having those skills to take up these new roles.”

Mr van der Meulen said he would meet with the company next Wednesday to identify any targeted roles subject to EA conditions.

Gippsland Trades and Labour Council John Parker said the restructure was another move in a process that has been repeating itself since privatisation of the power industry.

“They are continually cutting back on overheads in maintenance; every time power stations do a review, there’s cutbacks,” Mr Parker said.

An International Power-GDF Suez spokesperson said any company restructure was an internal organisational matter, and the company declined to comment.

Mr van der Meulen said such consultancy appraisals were “not uncoming”, and usually resulted in an “intensification of work” or a “reduction in people doing the work”.

This comes as the CFMEU continues to negotiate new EAs for Hazelwood’s 800 full time workers, with the previous agreements having expired on 31 December 2011.

Mr van der Meulen said the union was having “good discussions” on a regular basis, and anticipated an agreement would be reached in the coming months.