Manufacturing News

Arrium cuts 250 jobs at Whyalla steelworks

Arrium will cut 250 jobs at its subsidiary OneSteel’s Whyalla Steelworks in response to the global slump in commodity prices.

AAP reports that Arrium foreshadowed job losses in October when it announced a plan to cut $100 million in costs at the South Australian steelworks.

Yesterday the company confirmed that it will sack about 200 direct employees and 50 contractors over the next six to eight months. The plant’s total workforce, excluding these redundancies, stands at about 1,650.

The company said in a statement that it is calling for voluntary redundancies at this stage. It added that laid off workers will receive their full entitlements, including redundancy payments, as well as counselling and job search assistance.

"All employees will be treated fairly and respectfully throughout this process," Arrium said.

Responding to the news, the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) National Secretary Scott McDine said Federal Industry Minister Christopher Pyne needed to urgently convene an emergency steel summit.

“There is plenty we can be doing on the home front,” McDine said in a statement.

“We could look at doing what every other steel producing nation in the world does and take some proactive steps to ensure our industries are not slaughtered by Chinese dumping.

“We need to strengthen anti-dumping measures and we also need to be following the global example and introducing local steel procurement policies on government infrastructure.

“Dumping the carbon tax may have done little to help Whyalla steel, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more effective ways to assist.”

Image:  Licensed under Public Domain via Wikipedia

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