Miner left jobless after Workpac backflips on role

Miner Mark Di Ruggiero outside the Workpac Biloela office with the uniform Workpac provided him. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph
Miner Mark Di Ruggiero outside the Workpac Biloela office with the uniform Workpac provided him. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph Andrew Thorpe

IT WAS supposed to be good news for Mark Di Ruggiero when labour hire company Workpac called him in late October to let him know a position was soon to be available at Callide mine.

Mr Di Ruggiero, who lives in Biloela, was employed at the South Walker Creek coal mine 40km west of Nebo at the time, and jumped at the chance to be able to go home every night.

But after sending him to an interview, ordering medical, drug and alcohol and psychometric tests, sending through superannuation and registration forms, supplying him with a uniform and giving him a start date, Workpac called Mr Di Ruggiero less than two days before he was due to undergo induction at Callide to let him know the position was no longer available.

"I was livid," said Mr Di Ruggiero.

"I'd just quit a $100K a year job. Before that I was unemployed for a year and getting through that was incredibly tough. Now I'm back to being unemployed, just before Christmas," he said.

Mr Di Ruggiero maintains that he checked with his contact from Workpac over the phone before terminating his employment with Thiess at South Walker Creek.

"I left that job for no other reason than I had the chance to be home every night. And of course my old position has already been filled," he said.

"To advertise positions that are not 100% concrete and to tell people to resign from their jobs is heartless and cruel."

Upon meeting with a representative from Workpac on December 14, Mr Di Ruggiero said the representative told him they had only been given short notice that the position would no longer be available, and that up to five other people had been put in similar circumstances, as well as up to 40 existing contractors.

The representative was also quick to point out that despite providing induction dates and uniforms, Workpac had not sent Mr Di Ruggiero an official notice of offer.

"I want to hear from any of these other blokes, especially the ones who hadn't started - to see if they're in the same boat as me," Mr Di Ruggiero said.

"It's just not on."

Workpac Biloela has not yet responded to several requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Anglo Coal, the owner of Callide Mine, said it was not appropriate for them to comment on Workpac's relations with its employees.

Topics:  callide mine employment

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