Nobody safe from job cuts

No one is safe from Rio Tinto's announced job cuts, Rio iron ore spokesman Gervase Greene told MINING DAILY.

No one is safe from Rio Tinto’s announced job cuts, Rio iron ore spokesman Gervase Greene told MINING DAILY.

“There’s no immunity from this,” Greene said.

“The 14000 jobs will be across the different product groups, including copper, iron, energy and aluminium” he said.

“They will also be across the different regions of North America, east coast of Australia, west coast of Australia, and so on and so forth.

“It’s not confined to particular areas.”

According to Green, the losses will affect all kinds of Rio Tinto staff.

“There’s no doubt it will be both staff and contractors,” he said.

“More contractors than staff but there will be, regrettably, many of each.”

The cuts are part of a plan with which Rio Tonto is attempting to cut US$10 billion from its US$38 billion of net debt.

“Given the market conditions, we have to alleviate part of that in the next year,” Greene said.

“This is what we’re doing to address that.”

According to the company, the cuts will save Rio US$1.2 billion in salary.

“Given the difficult and uncertain economic conditions, and the unprecedented rate of deterioration of our markets, our imperative is to maximise cash generation and pay down debt,” Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said.

“We will minimise our operating and capital costs to appropriately low levels until we see credible and meaningful signs of a recovery in our markets.”

According to Greene, these cuts were necessary to help Rio Tinto move ahead and pay its debts in the future.

“These are tough decisions that have to be made to make sure we’re able to do that in the best shape we can,” he said.

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