Huge job cuts in Dalby for RPG

RPG workers Jimmy Sta Romano, George D Escabarte, Roland Mijares, and Joie Sta Romana have  lost more than just their jobs in the company's demise.

Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald
RPG workers Jimmy Sta Romano, George D Escabarte, Roland Mijares, and Joie Sta Romana have lost more than just their jobs in the company's demise. Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald

SEVENTY-SIX workers arrived at RPG Integrated Steel in Dalby this week to be told their jobs no longer existed.

The company has gone into voluntary administration with a $75 million debt, and voluntary liquidation a real possibility.

For many of RPG's Filipino employees on sponsorship visas, like Jimmy Sta Romano, George D Escabarte, Roland Mijares, and Joie Sta Romana (all pictured), the demise of the company is more than just a loss of a job.

Steel company RPG terminated its 76 Dalby staff and went into voluntary administration on Monday.

It is estimated 50 of these staff were Filipino workers, some on 457 visas - reliant on RPG as their sponsor.

Those on a 457 visa now have 28 days to find another sponsor, or leave Australia.

It is a harsh reality for Filipino brothers Joie and Jimmy Sta Romana who have been in Dalby for 11 months as boilermakers.

"We have lost everything; four days' wages, super, long service leave, annual leave, sick leave. I had over 100 hours of entitlements accrued and now we have lost it all," Jimmy said.

"We have nowhere to go, we can't pay (for) our cars or our rent.

"We are concerned about our families in the Philippines.

"How can we send money to them for electricity, school fees, rent?"

Their housemate Roland Mijares fears his permanent residency application will be jeopardised since losing his sponsor and employer.

All four housemates and colleagues have wives and children back home and said the news was worrying for each family.

"We really need all the help we can get," Mr Mijares said.

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