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Gujarat cuts 47 coal jobs

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47 voluntary redundancy packages have been signed off by Gujarat NRE as the company implements plans to cut its workforce by 20 per cent.

Company chairman Jasbir Singh announced a "workforce restructure" in December, blaming poor market conditions for the cuts and stating the company would "make every effort to keep forced redundancies to an absolute minimum".

Today Gujarat confirmed that it had accepted the voluntary redundancy applications of 47 workers after offering the scheme to its entire workforce.

However, the news comes as a blow to workers who were willing to accept the packages only to be told they would not be eligible for VR.

“Some of the applications received were not accepted in consideration of the skills and experience of each applicant and nature of the position they hold,” Gujarat said in a statement.

Last week the Illawarra Mercury reported letters offering voluntary redundancy packages were sent to by the company to the wrong staff members, a bundle which it was blasted for by the CFMEU.

"It's like telling someone they've won the lottery and then saying 'no, we've made a mistake,” CFMEU district vice-president Bob Timbs said.

"There's a lot of emotion involved in it all, and they've probably spoken to their families and told them they're going to go and sign the paperwork.

"It's a substantial amount of money they will lose," he said.

One worker told the paper the mistake had left him devastated.

"It's completely unprofessional and unacceptable, in this day and age, to make these types of mistakes," he said.

"They simply sent these letters to the wrong people, so it would seem like they just accidentally sent them out to everyone who applied."

A Gujarat spokeswoman said:

"It is unfortunate that in processing the numerous expressions of interest for a redundancy that an administrative error occurred whereby a few employees were provided with incorrect information."

Workers have been through a tumultuous 6 months at the company, with unpaid wages and uncertainty around job security forcing many to leave.

New owner Jindal Steel has invested over $110 million into the company since it took over as majority shareholder in October and says it is committed to improving current operations so mining can continue.

It said keeping costs down was a critical aspect of the future of its mines, with the company now looking at a possible restructure and relocation of its workforce across the two coal mining operations.

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