British-based Anglo American’s Dawson mine has announced its decision to axe 200 jobs due to low coal prices.
According to a report published on Sky News, the company is looking to cut contractors and make permanent staff redundant, with only a fraction of the redundancies made on a voluntary basis.
Aaron Puna, the mine’s general manager, says their employment will be terminated by the end of the month.
“The continuing low coal prices have placed considerable pressure on profitability,” Mr. Puna said.
Despite the redundancies, the Moura based mine will remain one of the largest mines in Queensland with approximately 1,200 workers on its payroll.
Stephen Smyth, the miner’s union Queensland district president, says workers deserve security as they played a crucial role in helping to boost the mine’s productivity which has yielded a $4.7 billion profit.
According to him, Anglo should put greater emphasis on workforce stability as part of its long-term strategy
“Anglo has demanded more from its mine workers to make up for management allowing production costs to get out of control at the height of the boom,” Mr. Smyth said.
“If a multinational in any other industry hired and fired on such a short-term basis from operations in a capital city, there would be a public outcry.”
Queensland’s coal industry has taken a beating lately, with low coal prices responsible for the closing of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Gregory and Norwich mines in the last year alone.
Queensland Resources Council estimates that 8000 jobs have been lost since May last year.
“That’s when the price started its downward spiral,” spokesman Jim Devine told AAP.
“The overall figure of job losses in the state has been somewhat offset by significant increase in the gas industry.”