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The union says it is concerned about job cuts at freight operator Aurizon, pointing to a history of train derailments in north-west Queensland.
Aurizon notified workers of job losses on Thursday, but did not say how many would go. Implementation is expected to start early next month.
The union says the cuts, which affect workers from Townsville to Gladstone, come on top of 200 jobs which the company has already shed over the past year.
RTBU northern manager Les Moffitt said the move affected coal and wagon maintenance which could not afford to lose more staff.
"Particularly with the wagon fleet that they're running, that's becoming quite concerning with the history of the amount of derailments that we do experience on the north west corridor," he said.
However, Aurizon said it would never make changes that compromised safety.
The company said it would be offering voluntary redundancies, while looking at retraining and relocating staff where possible.
"No final decisions will be made until we have completed the consultation process with employees," the company said in a statement.
"Many of our customers and competitors are under pressure to reduce their workforces, cut costs and, in some cases, close their operations.
"We are faced with lower growth conditions for customers and have also lifted productivity as a result of the introduction of more efficient work practices and new technology."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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