Hofmann Engineering accused of cutting wages

Newcastle manufacturer Hofmann Engineering rehired some of its previously retrenched workers for lower wages and conditions, according to a report.

As the ABC reports, NSW Regional Development and Skills Minister John Barilaro announced on Thursday that Hofmann will receive finacial support from the government's Regional Industries Investment Fund and, as a result, will create 25 jobs over three years.

This funding follows a $1.75 million federal Manufacturing Transition Program grant which the company received in May.

However, according to the Newcastle Herald, some workers at the company are former employees who were retrenched earlier this year by former owner Falk Australia, then rehired for less money and without overtime or holiday pay.

The Herald quoted a source close to the union as saying some are earning as much as $15 an hour less than they used to.

Hofmann chief financial officer Eckhard Bremer confirmed that some current workers had worked for the company under the previous owners but added that they are paid the market rate.

When announcing the support for Hofmann, Regional Development and Skills Minister John Barilaro made no mention of the issue.

"The New South Wales Government has partnered with the private sector and business to bring jobs to the region," he said.

"This time it's Hoffman Engineering are going to set up a facility in engineering manufacturing in Newcastle.”

A spokesperson for the minister told the Herald Hofmann Engineering was under no obligation to employ staff from the former business.

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