Manufacturing News

Unions say govt must act now to save Bluescope’s Port Kembla plant

Unions representing workers at Bluescope Steel’s Port Kembla steelworks say the NSW Government must provide tax concessions to the company to save the facility.

BlueScope announced in August that it needed to cut $200 million in costs from its Australian operations, and that this would require at least 500 jobs be shed at Port Kembla.

However, according to the ABC, the job cuts only translate to $50 million a year in savings and more needs to be done to save the steelworks.

Wayne Phillips from the Australian Workers Union told the ABC that workers have accepted the need for job cuts and agreed to other cost cutting measures, but the Government has yet to offer the tax concessions.

"The temporary tax breaks that Bluescope are asking for are critical to go towards this $200 million," he said.

"If we don't get that we don't have a steelworks."

The State Government's spokesman for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward said no such action would be taken until the company confirms the Port Kembla facility will not close.

Earlier this month, the Federal Government dismissed union calls for tariffs on imported steel but suggested support for BlueScope would be forthcoming.

Bluescope is expected to make a decision by the end of October.

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