Peabody sacks 18 apprentices, refuses to comment

AMERICAN mining giant Peabody has dumped apprentices from its regional operations west of Mackay in a shock move described as "a disgrace" by the CFMEU.

It is believed 18 workers have lost their jobs.

"Cutting costs this way is unacceptable. What they would save is a pittance. Peabody would spend more money on its Christmas drinks," said CFMEU's Steve Smyth.

Peabody kept its head down and gave only a terse statement. It refused to confirm the number of job losses. When asked to provide factual details or a senior manager for comment, a Peabody spokeswoman would only say the company was sending its apprentices back to the MRAEL Group in Mackay who supplied them.

Apprentices were given no warning on Thursday when senior Peabody mine staff told them to immediately leave their job sites.

It is believed apprentices at the North Goonyella, Coppabella, Millennium and Moorvale open-cut mines lost their jobs.

Peabody's statement: "Peabody Energy has conducted a comprehensive review of its apprenticeship program based on the operational needs of the business and current market conditions. Peabody has made the decision to reduce the number of apprentices we host at our Australian operations. We understand that this decision will have an impact on the effected apprentices, their families and colleagues. MRAEL, which supplied the apprentices to Peabody, also refused to comment."

"We are just not making any comment," said a spokeswoman.


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