Job losses at Downer EDI Rail

JOB LOSSES: Downer Group has confirmed about 20 people will lose their jobs at Downer EDI Rail.
JOB LOSSES: Downer Group has confirmed about 20 people will lose their jobs at Downer EDI Rail.

Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has shared his disappointment hearing about job losses at Downer EDI.

"[It's] Terribly disappointing," he said.

"20 jobs is a lot of jobs, particularly for a regional city.

"To use the excuse of "cost pressures" I do feel is a cop out. All businesses face cost pressures, and all businesses face good and bad times."

Mr Johnson called on Downer Group to provide more information about the future direction of the local site.

"I would like to know more about what the "cost pressures" are, and/or are these jobs really just being created elsewhere," he said.

"This has a multiplier effect, as this is not just 20 jobs, but is 20 families.

"I would like to see EDI front up to council and give an understanding of their future, as we have seen many cut backs in their business over the past 5 years."

About 20 employees at Downer EDI, Port Augusta will lose their jobs due to continued cost pressures.

Downer Group spokesperson Michael Sharp confirmed the losses on Friday morning.

"Downer is seeking to reduce the number of employees at Port Augusta due to continued cost pressures," he said.

"About 20 roles will be affected."

It is believed employees were told of the downsize during the week.

Mr Sharp said voluntary redundancy packages are on offer.

"Today [Friday], we have asked for expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy to be submitted by May 15," Mr Sharp said.

"These will be considered as part of the broader consultation with employees and their representatives.

It is anticipated affected employees will be notified on May 23 with the redundancies to take effect by June 30.

Mr Sharp said Downer is confident of its future in Port Augusta despite the downsize.

"Downer will continue to employ about 80 people at Port Augusta and the depot will continue to be important for Downer’s rail business," he said.