UP to 25 workers are believed to have been made redundant at Rivers Australia’s Ballarat operations.
Three workers have contacted The Courier to speak about the sackings, which are believed to have occurred over the past week at the company’s Sebastopol clearance warehouse and offices.
Rivers has so far declined to comment, despite repeated attempts by The Courier.
An administration worker, who did not want to be named, said they had been made involuntarily redundant last week.
The worker said there were four other people let go from their department.
“We noticed sales were down and that there weren’t as many people in the warehouses,” they said.
“It was like that for a few weeks and then suddenly we got called in and told we were made redundant.”
One factory worker who took a voluntary redundancy said they were told by management the economy was a major factor in the decision.
They said there were up to 25 redundancies in Ballarat, about half of which were involuntary.
“We sort of did see this coming. (Downturns) happened in the past, but it always picked up,” they said.
An application by Rivers for a large-scale development at Woodman’s Hill, which the company said would secure 400 jobs, was deferred by the City of Ballarat last month.
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said the job cuts at Rivers reflected a trend in Ballarat.
“Obviously it’s absolutely devastating – not only to the individuals who don’t have an income, but also to their families,” Ms Knight said.
“There are 25 people who now might not be able to shop at the local supermarket or petrol station.
“It seems to be a bit of a worrying trend in Ballarat, of jobs being lost; there are now 570 less jobs in Ballarat.”