Monday, 14 January 2013 08:03
Steelmaker BlueScope is cutting a further 170 jobs in Victoria as it reduces production to cut costs.
About 110 employees at BlueScope's Western Port facility at Hastings, southeast of Melbourne, will lose their jobs in the coming months, along with about 60 contractors, the company said on Monday.
Production at the mill is being reduced from mid-March in order to provide "significant cost savings", BlueScope said in a statement.
"Whilst domestic coated steel demand has not materially declined, this is part of our strategy to continually find better ways to do business and remain a cost effective producer," BlueScope Australia and New Zealand chief executive Mark Vassella said.
"We will now enter a consultation phase with employees and with union representatives to best manage the transition."
The company says it expects the changes to come at a one-off cost of $17 million, but that is expected to be recovered within one year due to the resulting cost savings.
BlueScope already has cut more than 1,000 jobs after making two consecutive $1 billion annual losses, as a range of economic factors hit the Australian steel market and forced the company to end its export operations.
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) says it will meet with BlueScope later on Monday to discuss the changes.
"This looks like a heart breaking start to the new year for our members at Western Port," AWU state secretary Cesar Melhem said.
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