Arrium steelworks’ survival chances increase following pay cut vote: administrator

Image: News Corp

Whyalla’s Arrium workers have voted in favour of a 10 per cent pay cut, following a rejection of the new enterprise agreement last month, in news the company’s administrator said would help ensure the survival of the steelworks.

Whyalla News reports that about two-thirds of workers covered by the Whyalla Steelworks Enterprise Agreement voted in favour of the cut. This follows an enterprise agreement vote in favour of a pay cut from Middleback Ranges iron ore workers.

KordaMentha administrator Mark Mentha said that the sacrifice was important and would bring the steelworks closer to breaking even in its operations.

“We also understand the 10 per cent reduction is a big ask for many people, and we appreciate the continued support of the Whyalla community, government agencies and financial institutions in supporting those suffering hardship,” the ABC reports him as saying.

Meanwhile, the statewide blackout in South Australia has put production at the steelworks on hold, with generator power being used for some critical operations.

AAP reported yesterday that mining and production of 3,500 tonnes per day of steel production had been halted. Mentha said it could be a week before power resumes.

“Metal is now solid in the caster plant so we’ll have to remove that, it’ll take about three days to weld that out,” he told AAP.

The Arrium group of companies went into administration in April, owing $4 billion, and a two-track process to split and sell the companies is underway.

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