Lindsay fights to keeps workers from mines

Lindsay Transport is losing skilled workers to the mining sector, but it is not the only employer likely to suffer

By Ruza Zivkusic | June 15, 2011

Lindsay Transport is battling to keep skilled workers from fleeing to the mines, but the trucking operator is not the only business likely to lose staff to the sector.

Lindsay's national maintenance manager, Nick Lindsay, says four skilled employees in the last six months have left to pursue higher pay and more opportunities in the mining sector.

"I’ve got 18 tradesmen working for me (in Coffs Harbour), so that’s nearly a quarter of my tradesmen gone," he says.

And while saying it is frustrating to see his workers that he has trained leave, Lindsay adds that there is nothing much the company can do.

"What we compete with is bottom line dollars. Obviously we will be looking at the wages we pay people but we don’t have a lot of leverage because we don’t have big profit margins like the mines do," he says.

"There’s a bit of jealousy and animosity among some of the guys that are tied down and can’t go. Every man comes back and says they want a pay rise to stay. There’s nothing we can do about it unless we win the lotto and we can pump everyone’s pay up by 50 percent."

Morgan Consulting Associate Director Leigh Rowbottom says the transport industry needs to brace itself for a further loss of skilled workers to the mining sector.

He adds that businesses need to look at retention strategies and rewards to keep staff happy.

"They need to put a lot more effort into their employees and keep them happy in the surroundings that they work in," Rowbottom says.

"The mining sector is not at its peak time yet so they’re only starting to go on that upward spiral again."

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