The West

More jobs to go in utility restructure
Paul Italiano.

Western Power has axed a further 57 positions as the electricity network company continues to shed jobs in a bid to downsize and streamline its operations.

Western Power chief executive Paul Italiano informed staff about the cuts late yesterday.

The roles are in Western Power's engineering design and network planning and operations divisions, jobs located mostly in the utility's Wellington Street headquarters, and have resulted from a decision to simplify its product offerings.

It is understood linemen and other jobs in the field are not affected. The 57 positions involve 38 permanent employees, who may be offered redeployment, with the balance either positions vacant or occupied by contractors.

The latest round of redundancies comes after the company axed more than 150 positions last year.

In October, _The West Australian _reported the company had a target of reducing its workforce by 400 but the company denies it has a global target and is instead aiming to achieve "continual improvement" as Mr Italiano rolls out a change program nearly two years into his tenure.

Western Power has nearly 3200 employees.

"When changes are required in the business, the senior leadership team and I remain committed to minimising the impact on employees wherever possible," Mr Italiano said in a statement to staff yesterday. "Our recent assessment identified new and improved ways of doing our work, which has resulted in a number of roles . . . that are no longer required. Unfortunately, a number of employees will be impacted as a result."

Workers offered redundancies will receive 12 weeks pay in lieu of notice and three weeks pay for each year of service, capped at either 52 or 87 weeks depending on variations in individual industrial agreements.

Australian Services Union branch secretary Wayne Wood said he was disappointed with a lack of communication from Western Power management and called on the company to clarify how many further rounds of redundancies it had planned.

"We were told that it (restructuring the company causing job losses) was pretty much finished," he said.

The West Australian

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