Big W Distribution Centre expected to stay in Warwick
A LONG term employee at the Big W Warwick Distribution Centre has alayed fears the centre could close its doors in the near future and is upbeat about the centre's future in the Rose City.
Rumours that the centre has cut back staff have swirled since late last year but the employee, who cannot be named to protect their identity, said while some casual shifts had been cut back, no permanent staff member had lost their job.
"We used to have shifts from 6am to 6pm but now the shifts run from 6am to 3pm," the employee said.
"There are now two shifts, one from 6am to 2pm and one from 7am to 3pm.
"That has cut back from where it was but you get different peaks throughout the year and it will pick up again.
"I believe the hours will go back to 6(am) to 6(pm) again.
"There have been times where it's been pretty busy and workers have had to stay back after 3pm to finish the work."
However, some casual staff have had work cut back.
"There were trainees on two-year traineeships and at the end of the two years none of them were offered full-time employment, which is down on previous years," they said.
"But most of those trainees were offered casual positions, which is the way the company seems to be going.
"At the centre in New South Wales, I think the same has happened so it's not a Warwick-only thing."
The employee said they expected the centre to remain in Warwick for the long-term.
"I've heard the rumours about it closing down but as far as I know there is no truth to those," the employee said.
"We still service 40 stores, which is down, but what we've got is still good.
"As employees we're about to enter into enterprise agreement negotiations in the next couple of months.
"As far as I know, I would expect the centre to be in Warwick for the long-term."
The reassurance came just three days after a petition was started on change.org, which called for Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott, Member for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg and Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell to ensure the centre remained in Warwick long-term.
The Daily News was unable to contact the creator of the petition, but Mr Springborg said he was unaware of it.
"That's not to say it hasn't come in yet, but I haven't seen it," Mr Springborg said.
"The Big W Distribution Centre is crucial to local employment and I will do whatever I can to keep it in Warwick.
"I've heard the rumours about the centre shutting down but I have had no confirmation of them by anyone at Big W and the information that has been relayed to me, is that these rumours are false.
"I make no promises because they are a commercial operator and if it was purely a commercial decision then there might be nothing I could do.
"But if there was a government issue hampering them staying in Warwick, I would certainly look at what could be done to keep them in Warwick."