BlueScope has denied that it has made a decision to close its Port Kembla steelworks, following reports this morning.
The Illawarra Mercury broke the news that the Australian Workers Union were meeting this morning with the company, with the AWU claiming employees were told the plant might be shut if savings of $50 per tonne of steel weren’t made.
“The worst case scenario is you’re looking at anywhere upwards of 700-1000 jobs in the Steelworks directly, with a flow-on effect to thousands, including all the contractors and suppliers,” the AWU’s Wayne Philips told The Mercury.
The company released a statement to the ASX after this, denying that any decision had been made to close Port Kembla though conceding that manufacturing costs “are too high” and it was seeking “game changing” ways of reducing these.
"The global steel sector is continuing to change and we must adapt with it," the statement read.
The ABC reports that the Lysaght production remained profitable, but raw steel was marginal and the AWU believes importation is being considered.