OneSteel ready to let go of 250 positions in South Australia

By @Shayani92 on
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The old OneSteel wire mill is seen at sunset in Geelong February 26, 2014. Geelong, south of Melbourne, is a microcosm of the economic crossroads at which Australia stands. The steps authorities and industry leaders take here - securing next-generation defence contracts or incubating carbon fibre production - will be closely watched to see if the city becomes Australia's Silicon Valley or its Detroit. Reuters/Jason Reed

OneSteel's Whyalla Steelworks, which operates in South Australia, has announced to axe as many as 250 jobs as a response to a $100 million cost-cutting drive.  

According to the ABC, the company has informed that cutting jobs would continue over the next two months. It said that it has become necessary to reduce labour costs to achieve the set targets.

The news of job axing came a month after Arrium, its parent company, announced to lay off  55 employees at the Whyalla Steelworks. In addition, it cut as many as 600 jobs in January from its Southern Iron operation.

Chief executive of the company's steel section, Steve Hamer blamed China’s shrinking demand for steel that prompted the company to take such drastic decisions over the last few months.

He added that pressure on the steel business in Arrium was escalating day by day as steel exports to China were decreasing.

He felt that China’s cheap steel exports to all over the world were the main reason for price fall in the steel industry around the world. “And steel companies around the world have to take action to cut costs accordingly, and we're no different,” he said as quoted by ABC.

Meanwhile, State Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has announced a half-a-billion-dollar "jobs package" to resolve the unemployment crisis. It includes extending payroll tax relief for small business, reinstating a discount on the Emergency Services Levy and a doubling of black spot road funding.

He emphasised the need to create more jobs for a better economy and drew word of caution in the wake of further cuts at the Whyalla Steelworks.

Similarly, opposition spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan expressed concern citing that the state has lost nearly 1,500 jobs in last several months. He felt that this could push South Australians to opt for interstate works.

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