Aussie company facing legal action over foreign job ads

by Chloe Taylor02 Sep 2015
Infrastructure company Transfield is likely to face legal action after advertising temporary roles to foreign workers shortly after cutting 120 of its Victorian roles.

Fairfax Media reported that the recent redundancy of an entire division within the company put the number of job cuts in the company’s Victorian operations at around 400 this year.

In spite of this, media reports have claimed the company posted ads online, seeking British workers to fill vacancies in Transfield’s powerline maintenance division – the one most recently hit by redundancies. 

“Transfield Services in Australia are looking to relocate UK-based electrical linesmen, construction supervisors and project managers with utilities experience to capital cities within Australia,” one of the advertisements reportedly stated.

According to Fairfax, Transfield said the ads in question had been posted by recruitment agencies, and were outdated.

A spokeswoman also told The Age that the company had consulted with union representatives to minimise the impact of workforce reduction on Victorian employees.
However, the recruitment notices have called the legality of the redundancies into question.

The Electrical Trade Union (ETU) reportedly said it plans to take the matter to the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

Victorian secretary Troy Gray said he was surprised that Transfield had advertised jobs for qualified line-workers in Australian cities at the same time as cutting 120 jobs in Victoria, claiming that those who had lost their jobs were never offered interstate transfers instead of redundancy.

“There is a surplus, more than at any other time in decades, of qualified, under-employed line workers in Victoria and interstate that could fill these positions being advertised in the UK,” he said.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio also confirmed that Transfield’s actions would be further investigated.

“We will pursue this issue further with the industry, the regulator and union to try and prevent these losses going forward,” she said.

Transfield did not respond to requests for comment.


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