Unions not happy with FMG’s new roster plan

The Australian Workers Union says around 10 per cent of FMG’s workforce will lose their jobs as the miner implements roster changes at its mines sites.

Announcing the move yesterday, FMG said operational rosters would move from an eight days on, six days off cycle to a two weeks on, one week off cycle.

The company said the changes would bring down costs in a time of instability in the iron ore market.

However AWU Western Australia branch secretary Stephen Price said over 700 people would lose their jobs as a result of the changes.

"I think it's very underhanded what Fortescue is doing," Price said.

"They should be upfront with people and tell them what they want to achieve."

Price also said the new roster meant miners would be working more hours for the same pay.

FMG’s CEO Nev Power said opportunities for internal transfers for those affected by the roster change will be fully explored to minimise the impact on affected employees.

Meanwhile, CFMEU WA state secretary Mick Buchan has called on FMG’s board and management to bear some of the costing cutting burden, SMH reported.

"It was only late last year that board gave Neville an 11 per cent pay rise," Buchan said.

"What are the board going to do? We get sick and tired about it falling to the workers. There has been no consultation with the workers who dig up the ore on any ideas they may have to make alternative savings."

CFMEU spokesman Gary Wood told the ABC the new rosters were not family friendly.

"It's disappointing as the 8-6 roster is the most family friendly roster you can have," Wood said.

"It gives workers a bit of time.

"A lot of the workers are flying long distances and they lose the first and last day of their break, so they are really only getting a four or five day break to be at home."

Woods said FMG’s new rosters would not save the company a lot of money.

"The 2-1 roster is more costly as there are more flights per year," he said.

"So if FMG had their staffing [correct] it would work for everybody."

The new rosters will be in place by June 30.        

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