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More than 50 Metro rail workers have been sacked and a further 58 temporary and vacant positions cut following a review by the rail operator just days before the introduction of a new timetable this weekend.
The job losses, most of which will be in Metro's operations division, were revealed to staff yesterday - the same day car manufacturer Toyota sacked 350 workers from its Altona plant.
Metro corporate relations general manager Leah Waymark said 51 employees were told of the job losses in meetings yesterday and would be leaving the business with full entitlements.
“This is a sensitive time and we are working closely with those affected," Ms Waymark said.
"We are offering a range of support including career transition counselling and advice, as well as full entitlements.”
Of those job losses, 22 are in the operations division; eight in infrastructure; six in legal and commercial; five in business development; four in network asset management; three in administration; and three in safety, quality and environment.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said it was unavailable to comment on the job losses when contacted today.
Metro is progressively introducing a new train timetable to Melbourne. The second stage of this starts on Sunday, when 10-minute frequencies begin on some lines on weekends.
Ms Waymark said more than 800 new people had been recruited to the business since Metro took over the contract, which was 700 more than originally planned.
She said when Metro took over operations in Melbourne, four companies were merged, each with functions including Finance, HR and Safety.
"As we further centralise, a number of roles are no longer required," she said.
The news comes as the V/Line chief executive Rob Barnett prepares to travel on the Geelong line this afternoon following severe disruptions on the busy commuter route in the past few weeks.
Mr Barnett and about 20 other members of his executive team would be split between the 5.08pm Southern Cross to South Geelong train and the 5.21pm Southern Cross to Marshall service.
V/Line spokesman James Kelly said executives travelled on V/Line rail lines about once a month to speak to commuters, but today's trip would give commuters the opportunity to discuss recent disruptions.
Earlier this month peak-hour passengers were stuck on board Geelong-line trains without food or water for up to five hours when an underground fault cut power to the signalling system, while one week later the same fault caused the line to be suspended for 24 hours.
"Generally we've found [the feedback from commuters is] not one of abuse, it's very civil and people give us good, constructive feedback," Mr Kelly said.
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