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Molycop Waratah closure a ‘sad day’ for the Hunter, says union


The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) has slammed Molycop’s call to stop production at its Waratah site, resulting in 250 job losses.

In a blow to employees this week, the company informed staff it would cease steel-making operations and the bar mill under a restructure.

“This was a very difficult decision, but one we believe best positions Molycop Australia for success over the long term,” president Michael Parker said in a statement.

“It will be a challenging time as dedicated employees leave our business, and the company is committed to providing comprehensive support for those employees.

“We’ll continue to manufacture our range of leading grinding media, rail wheels and other specialised steel products at the Waratah site.”

But, AWU NSW branch secretary Tony Callinan said it was a “sad day” for the Hunter region… and for the steel-making industry.

“About half of those people affected are union members,” he stated.

“We’ll work with Molycop management to ensure all workers received their full entitlements and re-training opportunities.

“This announcement will come as a painful shock to workers, many of whom have worked at that site for their whole working lives.

“The (Waratah) steel mill has been operating for more than a century, sustaining livelihoods and the community.

“Right now, our immediate focus is on working with the company to minimise the pain.

“Expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies from across the entire site will hopefully minimise forced redundancies and there will be re-training opportunities for those who need to continue working.”

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