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Unrelated workforce cutbacks announced in Australia and the United States
October 15, 2018

Glencore Plc. announced plans to restructure its workforce at the Hail Creek Mine in the Bowen Basin of Australia. The move will see the company cutting its workforce at the mine by about 30 percent, or by about 400 people.

In a statement, the company said under its "reconfiguration" of the mine, the two-dragline operation would become a truck-and-shovel mine with a seven-day-on, seven-day-off roster.

Reuters reported that the changes are expected to cut the mine's current workforce of 1,360, reducing it to about 930 workers.

"We acknowledge the significant impact this will have on our workforce and their families, and we will have in place support services to assist and advise them," a Glencore spokesperson said.

The majority of changes are expected to be in place at the open cut coal operation by mid next year.

The company also said it would reconfigure the mining methods it uses at Hail Creek and expects the process to be phased in over the next 18 months, with majority of the changes expected to be in place by the second quarter of 2019.

Glencore is already the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal used for power stations, and the Hail Creek acquisition gave it a bigger stake in metallurgical coal used for steelmaking.

In 2017, the mine produced about 9.4 million tonnes of hard coking and thermal coal for export.

In the United States, Mission Coal announced that it will close its Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County, WV, a move that is expected to leave 400 workers out of a job.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement saying the closing of the Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County will displace a lot of miners. He says he is hopeful the mine “has not seen its last days.”

WVVA reports workers at the mine, which is owned by Mission Coal, said this week negotiations to sell the mine fell through. The mine is largest employer in Wyoming County after the school system. Workers were moving equipment out of the mine this week, a sure sign of its imminent closure.

Justice also mentioned the recent closing of ABB control systems in Greenbrier County, which employs about 150 workers.


 

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