Alcoa shutdown: 1000 jobs to be axed

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Alcoa shutdown: 1000 jobs to be axed

Alcoa announced today it will close its Geelong aluminium smelter and rolling mill and a further rolling mill in Yennora, western Sydney. The move represents further job losses for Geelong, still reeling from shutdowns at Ford, Target, Boral Waurn Ponds and Qantas.

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Alcoa announced today it will close its Geelong aluminium smelter and rolling mill and a further rolling mill in Yennora, western Sydney. The move represents further job losses for Geelong, still reeling from shutdowns at Ford, Target, Boral Waurn Ponds and Qantas.
 
The smelter at Point Henry will close in August and the rolling mills by the end of 2014.
 
Alcoa Chairman and chief executive officer Klaus Kleinfeld said ‘the 50-year-old smelter has no prospect of becoming financially viable’ and the rolling mills which service the domestic and Asian markets are not viable due to worldwide overcapacity.
 
Jobs to go
 
The company estimates 500 employees will be affected by the shutdown of the smelter and 480 employees by the shutdown of the rolling mills.
 
Alcoa also owns the Anglesea coal mine and power station which supplies nearly 40 per cent of the smelter’s power needs. The company will be seeking a buyer for these after the smelter closes.
 
The Portland Aluminum smelter in southwestern Victoria will continue normal operations, as will Alcoa’s bauxite mining and alumina refining operations in Western Australia.
 
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) expressed its ‘sadness’ at Alcoa’s closures and asked the Federal Government to urgently plan for manufacturing in Australia.
 
Australian Workers Union (AWU) NSW Secretary Russ Collison added that while recognising the ‘global oversupply of aluminium has devastated [the] industry’, he said ‘federal and state governments need to urgently … develop a jobs plan for manufacturing in Western Sydney’.
 
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Federal Government must ‘provide adjustment packages’ for the now redundant workers.
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