GUTTED: Peter Guinea, 64, lost his job at Daunia mine last month. Picture: supplied
GUTTED: Peter Guinea, 64, lost his job at Daunia mine last month. Picture: supplied

‘A kick in the guts’: Cruel blow for sacked CQ miner

A WORKER at BMA's Daunia mine has been left gutted after being told he had lost his job of three years.

Peter Guinea, 64, was told he was no longer needed at Daunia just a day before the company announced it would roll out autonomous trucks at the mine.

Mr Guinea, a labour hire worker, said workers were warned of job cuts three weeks ago during a meeting with the site superintendent.

"The superintendent made the statement that they had crunched the numbers and there was going to be people put off," the mine truck driver said.

"He gave us the assurance that it probably wouldn't be happening for three months or so."

Mr Guinea said he was assured by the superintendent that FIFO workers would be told if they had lost their job before they flew home.

This way they could collect their work boots and clothes.

"Usually, they ring a day before you are due to go back to site to let you know you are not needed," he said.

"That is a full week where you could have been looking for a job."

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Mr Guinea claimed he was given the news on June 30 - the day before his next shift was due to start and without warning before he flew home, leaving his work boots and clothes at camp.

"They just said they have got too many people and they don't need them," he said.

"I have been there for three and a half years and haven't put a foot wrong."

BMA’S Daunia mine. Picture: BHP
BMA’S Daunia mine. Picture: BHP

Mr Guinea said he was prompted to speak out after reading news reports quoting BMA's assurances there would be "no job losses" as a result of the automation decision.

A BHP spokesman said the company engaged labour hire vendors to provide additional labour across its mines as work requirements fluctuated.

"As part of our regular work planning process last month, and unrelated to the autonomous haulage announcement, Daunia mine reduced its labour hire requirements by two people," the spokesman said.

"On July 1, Daunia announced 56 new permanent roles as well as 150 project roles as the result of the autonomous haulage rollout in the coming year.

"There will be no job losses for employees and existing labour hire operators impacted by the decision."

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Mr Guinea said the loss of his income during the current economic crisis was "devastating".

"I'm 64, where do I go?" he said.

"It is deadset wrong; it is a kick in the guts.

"They have got no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt."

Mr Guinea said he felt he was treated differently to other workers because he was labour hire.

"You do the right thing, treat the company right and as soon as you make a statement out there, you're sacked," he said.

"You're just a number."