Call to business community to keep workers local

Posted August 29, 2015

Brett Peterson

A call has gone out to the Mount Isa business community to find positions for staff made redundant by Glencore.

Glencore distributed a memo on Thursday advising that 35 in-house positions in the purchasing department would be replaced by contracted fly-in fly-out staff. The memo came from both the copper and zinc asset leaders.

The move represents a change in policy from the copper end which traditionally eschewed fly-in fly-out to employ strictly from the city.

Mount Isa could ill-afford to lose the people and their families from the community said deputy mayor, Brett Peterson.

“While news like this is very difficult to accept, the loss of perhaps 35 families out of Mount Isa, we do have to look at redeployment to alternative work,” Cr Peterson said.

“I know times are hard and I hope the Mount Isa business community sees the value of these staff.”

Mr Peterson is owner and manager of Mount Isa Mining Supplies and said his business would benefit from specialist procurement advice.

“I would be open to see how Mount Isa Mining Supplies could do better in the tendering process and sitting down with these staff to get their feedback about how to better win the work, (offered at Mount Isa Mines).

“I am hoping there are opportunities like that, where the purchasing officers can save businesses money and at the end of the day, absorb these people into the business community and keep them in Mount Isa.”

The memo was from Chief Operating Officer NQ Copper Assets Australia Mike Westerman and Chief Operating Officer Zinc Assets Australia, Greg Ashe.

The memo quotes the asset leaders as saying: “We expect that around 35 positions will be impacted and we will be working with affected employees over the four month transition period.”

“It has been a difficult decision to make and we have not made it lightly. We will have support services in place and make every effort to redeploy affected people to other parts of the business.”


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