The site itself employs around 4,000 people and produces copper, uranium and, to a lesser extent, silver and gold. These new job cuts follow from an earlier announcement where 140 administrative roles were removed, bringing the total employee number at the site down to 3,500.
A BHP spokesperson said the move was design to “simplify” the business and ensure optimal efficiency. “This is consistent with the work being done in other BHP Billiton operations, and across the resources sector, and reflects the challenging external environment.”
“Our goal is to become a safe, high-performance organisation with a culture of respect, simplicity and collaboration.”
These cuts were part of a wider business review, the spokesperson explained, with assessment of both Functions and Operations areas now completed. The final implementation of the operational review is expected to occur by the end of September with affected workers offered redundancy packages in excess of the Fair Work Act requirements.
“We are respectfully communicating with employees whose roles will be impacted,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to provide internal and external Employee Assistance Programs and outplacement assistance throughout this difficult process.”
Involved heavily in local communities, BHP says it recognises the impact this decision will have and will strive to work in partnership with these communities to make sure they stay strong.
A proposed meeting between BHP and the Australian Workers Union (AWU) has been on delay since Monday. AWU state secretary, Peter Lamps, said he was confident the meeting would be scheduled soon and that the company would honour its commitment as per the enterprise agreement. These sentiments could change if the meeting is postponed for too long, however.
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BHP Billiton has recently announced it will cut 380 jobs at its Olympic Dam site in Roxby Downs, South Australia. The decision was driven by a push towards a more streamlined business model as well as external market factors.