AS UNION members went on strike for 24 hours at Maryborough's CQMS Razer, the company's president, David Haslett, hit back, saying giving workers at the foundry a pay rise would ultimately cost jobs.
The company issued a statement during the 24-hour stoppage, which began at 7am on Thursday and meant the foundry had to operate without about 60% of its workforce as union members took industrial action.
The statement said CQMS Razer had been in wage negotiations with its employee Enterprise Bargaining Committee since January, but its offer of no salary change in the next year, with increases in the two years after that, had not been accepted.
Mr Haslett said the business had acted to save jobs in Maryborough, which otherwise would have to be sent offshore.
"Non-union salaried staff team members took a pay cut recently to save jobs and it's now more than reasonable to hold local foundry wages for a year and not risk losing those jobs," Mr Haslett said.
"This situation is the reality of the changed mining environment we operate in.
"No one should risk these local Maryborough jobs at this time by seeking short-term pay increases."
AMWU central Queensland organiser Brad Hansen said CQMS workers had helped the company survive through tough times but workers had not received a pay rise in 17 months and felt that they were entitled to some reciprocation.
"The claims put to the company are not excessive," he said.