Xstrata cuts 190 contractor jobs

Xstrata spokesman James Rickards told CIN’S sister publication International Longwall News that 32 of the full-time employees have been provided with their redundancies. He said six were voluntary redundancies, “otherwise the rest were informed”.Of the remaining eight full-time positions anticipated to go, Rickards said Xstrata was always expecting to reduce about 40 positions but it did not have to be definitely 40 job cuts. The bulk of the job losses comprised 190 contractor positions and CFMEU Mining and Energy Division executive vice-president Stuart Vaccaneo told ILN he believed there were about 11 left at Oaky No. 1 who are finishing up tomorrow and another 16 over at Oaky North who are due to finish up in March. Vaccaneo said there was little the union could do under WorkChoices legislation.“The industrial laws prevented us from doing anything else – another one of those things we have to thank John Howard for,” he said. He added the union would be keeping a close eye on Xstrata, noting the company had the ability to open up Oaky No. 1 again to longwall production quickly. With changes to the industrial laws currently before the Senate, Vaccaneo said possibly other employers would make use of what is left of WorkChoices. However, Rickards said Xstrata’s job cuts were based on market conditions.“It’s an unfortunate situation caused by a lack of market demand for the actual coal,” Rickards said. “You never want to be having to lay people off, especially when you have been going through such reasonably strong market conditions up until late last year.”

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