The miners' union has played down the effects of Gujarat NRE Coking Coal's job cuts, saying its members were essential and wouldn't be widely affected by a 20 per cent reduction in the workforce.
CFMEU district secretary Graham White said he would make sure no jobs needed to run the mines were lost as the company calls for 90 voluntary redundancies.
"Today this is just a voluntary application, and [in January] the union will sit down with the company, see what the numbers are, what the manning expectations are and what they'll be able to achieve," he said.
"They might think they want 20 per cent, but ... I don't think they can operate the business with 20 per cent gone."
Mr White said he had asked Gujarat to provide all workers with payout figures, so they could decide on redundancy. He said he was confident any employees who took up an offer would be paid what they were owed under Gujarat's new management.
Mr White also said he agreed with Gujarat chairman Jasbir Singh that some job losses would be necessary to keep the mines running in the long term.
"I'm impressed that [new owner] Jindal Steel has got some direction ... [and] long-term plans," he said.
A spokeswoman for the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA), which looks after nearly 100 workers at Gujarat, said members "would have to weigh up their options" following the redundancy announcement.
She said APESMA representatives would meet Gujarat management today to discuss the restructure.