Alcoa cuts 150 jobs over global financial crisis

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Alcoa cuts 150 jobs over global financial crisis

The global financial crisis has forced the aluminium company Alcoa to cut 150 jobs, 90 of them at Victoria's Port Henry rolling mill.

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The global financial crisis (GFC) has forced the aluminium company Alcoa to cut 150 jobs, 90 of them at Victoria's Port Henry rolling mill.
 
The rest of the jobs will be cut at Yennora in Western Sydney. The company makes aluminium food and beverage cans and bottle screw caps. The Sydney plant also operates an aluminium recycling facility.
 
Alcoa announced the Port Henry job cuts yesterday, with managing director Mark Vrablec saying the timing [just before Christmas] was unavoidable as many Alcoa Australia Rolled Products export contracts come up for renewal at the end of the month.
 
Lost export deals
 
Vrablec said the restructure is a response to the global financial crisis and a 35% fall in production volume next year as a result of the company losing export deals to Asian aluminium producers.
 
Australian Workers Union Victorian state secretary Cesar Melhem said the news would be hard to take for workers with families and who had mortgages to pay.
 
Blow for workers
 
Melhem said Alcoa workers were casualties of the global financial crisis and that it was a blow for workers to get the news three weeks before Christmas.
 
‘We will be holding talks with the company as soon as possible,’ he said.
 
‘They have assured us that all entitlements will be paid and that the union will be kept informed.’
 
‘We will be making sure that the company will not force any redundancies and that all efforts are made to assist workers to find other jobs.’
 
Company representatives met with workers on Thursday, 3 December to notify them of the restructure, which it says is required to manage the ongoing impacts of the global financial crisis, rising costs and high foreign exchange rates.
 
Lack of emissions scheme a factor
 
‘The lack of an Emissions Trading Scheme has contributed to this decision by Alcoa and I hope Tony Abbott can sleep at night,’ Melham said.
 
‘His party's failure to pass the legislation this week is creating business uncertainty and instability at a time when companies are looking for the chance to develop new business opportunities in a low carbon economy.’
 
‘Workers are once again paying the price for an economic crisis which they did not create and a political game playing over the emissions trading scheme which is likely to cause more job losses.’
 
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