CFMEU: Why weren't foreigners sacked before locals?

Unions have raised concerns.
Unions have raised concerns. AAP

WITH hundreds of people losing jobs in the coal sector, the CFMEU says it's bewildering foreign workers were not being let go before locals.

CFMEU district vice-president Steve Pierce said the issue had been raised by union members, in light of Hastings Deering's decision to slash about 400 jobs this month.

"We've raised that with Hastings," he said.

"They've said, 'Those people will go through the same de-selection process as everyone else'."

Mr Pierce said the CFMEU had asked why that was the case, given workers on 457 visas were not permanent employees.

"They've just said, 'They've been provided with legal advice and that's the process that they're following'," he said.

"For us it's a bewildering ... a supplementary employee who is not permanent ... why would you treat them with a preference compared to a permanent employee?"

Mr Pierce said they had to take what Hastings Deering had said at face value until they knew otherwise.

Hastings Deering's decision, which is expected to impact about 100 people in the Mackay region, was blamed on challenging marketing conditions.

A number of people have contacted the Daily Mercury concerned that foreign workers were being prioritised over those living in the region.

It is believed seven local workers have been laid off from Liebherr-Australia, with those on 457 visas keeping their jobs.

The company would not confirm the report and refused to comment.

Mr Pierce met with Hastings Deering yesterday about the job losses.

"We got information out of them and none of it is good," he said.

Mr Pierce said the company had a small window of opportunity to deploy some people within the company but not the full 300.

"For the bulk of them when this process is over they won't have a job," he said.

Should foreign workers be sacked before locals?

This poll ended on 08 August 2014.

Current Results

Yes, without a doubt


No, that isn't fair


It should be based on last employed, first sacked


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  coal editors picks foreign jobs miners union

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