Monday, November 12, 2012

Redundancy

Meaning your work position is redundant (excess), so therefore...

Back in 2007, when the global financial crisis struck the world. European nations experienced a big downturn in their economy and the US Dollar has dropped its value dramatically. While Asia and the Pacific was hanging on a thread. And the 2008 global recession is its chain effect.

May 2008, when my application to work in Australia via a Manila-based agency started to roll. Out of 100 applicants who took the written exams, 25 were chosen to proceed with the job interview and qualified to continue and complete the rest of the requirements, i.e. medical exams and driving lessons (Australia is a right-hand drive country). Needless to say, by August 2008, the first batch (10) completed everything and by January 2009 they already flew to Australia. While the rest were still waiting for their driving lessons. That includes me.

I didn't received follow-up phone calls from the agency again. Obviously, the 25 were cut down to 10. That hit us the global recession.

It wasn't as frustrating though, because I was eyeing on really going to Dubai with my boyfriend then.

Two years went on, and to my surprise I received a call from another agency, scheduling me for a job interview, this time the location is in Madagascar, South Africa. It was May 2010. They were urgently hiring for a control panel operator, ready to start working by August. The Nickel-chromium plant is in it's commissioning phase. I got the job offer a day after. What could be more exciting is the two-week French lessons.

This time I'm getting frustrated since my application to work  in Dubai isn't pursuing. Hence, the Madagascar offer is very timely. But the biggest surprise of all, a day before I sign my job offer, a call from the previous agency, they were recalling the Laboratory Technician applicants for BV-Australia. The global recession has subsided and businesses is recovering with a vengeance.

I decline the offer in Madagascar and by November 2010, I landed my feet in Brisbane, Queensland Australia.

Yes, 2 years had passed.

Three weeks ago, we received a memorandum changing our shifting schedule from 6am-2pm; 2pm-10pm; 10pm-6am to 7am-3pm; 3pm-11pm; 11pm-7am. And encouraging us to use all our annual leave by the end of this year. This has caused a little commotion in the Lab. I, myself is not having plans of taking my annual leave this December. All changes is for cost-cutting. Which we don't see any relation in our annual leave.

By the following Monday, we were all called for a special announcement regarding the "real" status of the business. Frightening as it is. They have presented to us the financial state, forecasts, budget and solutions to avoid the worst scenario of all...closing down.

It is all over Australia that redundancy is happening, major companies have been cutting down their employees to save their businesses. It is a frightening sight, another downturn in the economy's tide again, they say.

In my work, we have let go of 11 employees, 4 of which voluntarily applied for the redundancy package (2 were Filipinos in another department), one accepted the transfer to another location and the rest received their last pay.

This morning we had another general assembly, it was an update of the status on the redundancy. It was good to hear that not another batch will be let go until the end of the year, but on the contrary a shutdown is foreseen. It's either we take our annual leave on the shutdown dates to get paid, or apply it without pay to save our annual leave and use it on our own schedule.

As a contract employee, I am not exempted in the redundancy, it is written in my employee agreement, only that they have to pay the remaining number of years to serve stated in the contract.

Yes, for now I am safe against being redundant in the company, they said they are committed in keeping the contract on-going. Three of my co-workers has started processing their papers to get their families from the Philippines. I, soon will start processing my Permanent Residency.

But what's quite bothering for me was the shutdown for a week or two by next month. Am I going to take my annual leave or save the money for my PR? (I'll be needing 10k AUD!).

The following days is expected to be a noise of all the chats about this. Sigh.

Let's all hope and pray for the best.

God bless us all.