Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Bauxite job cuts - Massive redundancy to hit Noranda workers in Jan

Published:Monday | December 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Trucks being loaded with bauxite.

MORE THAN 30 per cent of employees at the Noranda Bauxite Company in St Ann could be out of a job come early next year.

The Gleaner understands that the company is considering a massive redundancy exercise when it reopens in 2016 in order to reduce costs.

The company will close down operations today until January 3, laying off in excess of 100 employees.

General secretary of the Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (UTASP), St Patrice Ennis, said the company raised the proposal late last week.

He said Noranda had indicated initially that there would be a three to five per cent cut in labour at the same time of closure, which the union says could be accommodated by voluntary redundancy.

However, UTASP said a further 30 per cent cut would be unsustainable. The exercise would affect all categories of workers.

He said discussions would be held with Noranda with a view to finding alternatives to further cutting labour.

Noranda Bauxite, a subsidiary of Noranda Aluminum Holding, has been facing a series of difficulties due mainly to a plunge in the global price of aluminium and declining demand.

The company has been unable to find a market for some 1.15 million tonnes of alumina, which it has not been able sell.

The Government's doubling of the bauxite levy from US$2.50 to US$5 has also heavily impacted the company's finances.