Union tips more Rio Tinto coal job losses

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says it expects more jobs will be cut from Rio Tinto's Queensland coal mining operations.

Rio Tinto's chief executive has today told an investors' meeting it is trying to rein in what it calls "unsustainable" cost rises and has foreshadowed further cost-cutting.

In September, the company announced workforce cuts across its operations.

CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth says the announcement is disappointing.

"They keep saying costs have gone up but it comes back to the way a lot of these operations have been managed," he said.

"They flooded them with contractors and excess people at a time when the price of coal was extremely high on the spot market.

"They didn't plan for the future and now they're in a situation where they say that they've got to lay people off because of the high costs.

"I struggle with a lot of that when they're still maintaining the same amount of coal production and huge profits."

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