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QRN must explain staff reductions

QR National (QRN) has announced it needs to reduce its work force of 9400 by 3500 to 5900 to be competitive and achieve industry benchmarks. This is a massive 37 per cent reduction.

A QRN spokesman said this reduction in the size of the workforce was needed for the company to remain competitive.

Despite Anna Bligh assuring Queenslanders and the staff moving over to QRN that their jobs were assured for three years, she lightly dismisses QRN’s decision on the basis that the redundancies are voluntary.

Three months after QRN was floated as a public company, the promised job security for three years has vanished as did Bligh’s promise before the 2009 election not to sell QR.

There should be a legal inquiry into the proposal. This is not only a broken political promise it is a broken commercial undertaking.

QRN in its Share Offer Document never mentioned, in any manner, a possible reduction in staff numbers. In section 9 of this document QRN provided detailed commercial information on the Key Risks.

Surprisingly there is no mention of the need to reduce staff numbers in any of the Risk Assessments. If QRN and the government as the vendor guaranteeing staff their jobs for three years, did its due diligence, how did they miss the need to reduce staff by 3500 to remain competitive and meet industry benchmarks?

The structure of the competitors and the industry benchmarks would not have changed within three months.

In section 8.3.4.3 (Page 111) of the Share Offer Document, QRN stated its staff numbers would increase from 9361 in 2010 to 9898 in 2012. How was this projection achieved?

When institutions invested heavily in QRN, were they given any indication that QRN would move quickly to reduce its work force and therefore substantially increase its profitability?

The projected investment returns contained in the offer document were low and many financial advisers were surprised that large institutions were keen to invest.

We are entitled to a full explanation and we must demand a full explanation. If it is a reasonable commercial decision by QRN as claimed, the QRN Sales Offer Document was a sham.

The guarantee of three years employment was a deception.

The QRN executives must explain when they first realised the need to cut the staff and was this communicated to any investors or government ministers was completed.


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