Construction workers to lose jobs before Christmas
THE workforce returns in full to the $1.4 billion Jewel towers today after another site accident but a site union rep claims staff fear heavy cuts are looming.
Site builder Multiplex yesterday confirmed the 600-plus workers would resume at the triple-high-rise project in Surfers Paradise but rubbished fears of 100 job cuts ahead of Christmas.
The site ground to a halt last Wednesday when three construction workers were injured by a falling metal beam.
A safety audit wrapped up yesterday and the trio have since been released from hospital and are recovering at home.
CFMEU Gold Coast official Scott Vink yesterday said workers on site had told him dozens were being laid off weekly with some given a few days notice and up to 100 predicted to go by Christmas.
Jewel workers were "on edge" with lots of uncertainty over who would stay or go, he said.
"More people are going to lose their job in the next week, week and a half due to the works that have been put on hold," he said.
"There's still a lot of peeved off people on the job and people who have got concerns about their livelihood. Some of these people expected to still be working on the site for another couple of months."
Mr Vink said the majority of workers being laid off were painters, tilers and cabinet-makers anxiously waiting to see if they would be considered when the remainder of the project was re-tendered.
Site manager Multiplex did not respond to additional questions late yesterday regarding the alleged job cut fears but a spokeswoman said "to my understanding this is not correct".
The spokeswoman did confirm all workers were heading back on site after last week's drama.
"A workforce of over 600 people (are) continuing to work toward on-time delivery of the project," a Multiplex spokeswoman said.
An investigation is still determining what caused the latest accident with the area it occurred still blocked off by Queensland Workplace Health and Safety.
Extra reinforcements have been installed on similar beams on the site, and other work sites on the Gold Coast and Brisbane using similar brackets are also being checked for any problems.
A Yuhu Group spokeswoman said the incident and holdup would not impact the scheduled mid-2019 completion: "We don't expect the incident last week to have any overall impact on the construction schedule.
Safety inspectors pored over the entire site since last week.
Mr Vink said workers were very happy with the progress on safety.
"They're rapt," he said.
Some returned to the project as early as Friday afternoon, with more returning at the weekend before the full contingent getting back today.
Night shifts, cancelled since Wednesday, were also restarted last night.