14 Austral redundancies at Port Kembla

14 workers have been made redundant at Austral Masonry in Port Kembla.

The Illawarra Mercury reports that the jobs at the brick and paver-maker were a shock to many, with the unnamed wife of a sacked employee telling the paper, “"My husband was due to be there tonight but they called him in and just told them the whole factory was closing.

"A lot of the guys who lost their jobs are in the same situation, they all have young families."

The group HR manager at Brickworks – Austral’s parent company – said that the workers would be allowed to apply for jobs at a site in western Sydney which Brickworks bought recently.

“Those 14 people will be made redundant as of now, but we are offering opportunities for them to come to our plant in Prospect," he told the Mercury.

The redundancies follow the announcement of 150 job losses at building products maker CSR earlier in the week.

Conditions are particularly difficult for building manufacturers, with the Australian dollar up 40 per cent and construction market down 30 per cent since 2007, reports Fairfax Media.