THIRTY to 40 jobs are likely to go from Ampcontrol with more job losses possible in the coming weeks, unions said after meeting with management on Friday morning.
An Ampcontrol spokeswoman confirmed the likely job losses after the meeting, saying the figures given by the union were ‘‘ballpark for the affected areas’’.
Electrical Trades Union organiser Russell Wilson said the shop floor rumours had been of 100 jobs to go, so the outcome of 30 to 40 was not as bad as it could have been.
Unions approached the Newcastle Herald on Thursday, unhappy with the way Ampcontrol was handling the need to cut jobs.
Mr Wilson said the company had called for voluntary redundancies from across the company without giving employees any idea of how many jobs were going, or from which of the company’s various divisions and businesses.
Ampcontrol defended its actions in a statement to the Herald on Thursday afternoon, and Mr Wilson said the company’s decision today to give more detail was a change of heart.
‘‘We formerly had a good relation with them and hopefully it is back on track,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘‘In five or six weeks there could be another round of job cuts, depending on the state of contract work, but they have told us this time they will involve the unions from the start and they have promised to help people with their resumes in getting other work and in training to get other skills.’’
He said Ampcontrol had businesses at Tomago, Cardiff and Cameron Park and it appeared jobs would go from all Hunter sites.
He said the company would not say if jobs were going from other Ampcontrol sites outside of the region.
The company has grown dramatically in recent years, buying a number of rival businesses across Australia and internationally.
‘‘We asked them whether they had grown too fast and paid too much for some of their assets but they said they were all bought at bargain basement prices, had helped them diversify and had added value to the company,’’ Mr Wilson said.
In a memo Friday, to Hunter-based Ampcontrol employees, the company’s chief executive officer and managing director, Geoff Lilliss, set out the situation facing the company and the workforce.
Mr Lilliss said that after ‘‘initially taking a cautious approach to employee numbers’’ it had become necessary to cut further jobs.
Mr Lilliss said employment agreements varied across the business, and voluntary redundancy was being offered ‘‘in some circumstances’’.
People were being redeployed as an alternative to redundancy wherever possible.