Fortescue Metals Set to Make Thousands of Workers Jobless

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Fortescue Metals Group, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, is set to make thousands of workers redundant as a cost-cutting measure.

On Thursday, ‘The Australian’ reported that Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX) plans to eliminate up to 1,000 positions across its back office and clean energy unit to reduce spending – coming just days before half-yearly results are revealed.

Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Future Industries, the renewable energy subsidiary devoted to generating hydrogen through eco-friendly sources, in addition to finance and IT head office roles, are set to experience cuts according to anonymous informants cited by The Australian.

The world’s fourth-largest iron ore miner has stated that any substantial modifications to the number of their employees will necessitate board authorisation, which is yet to be granted.

“As a business, we are relentless and always striving for improvement,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

On February 15th, Fortescue will release its results for the six months ending December. Even with a three-month rally in iron ore prices due to traders anticipating China’s reopening from pandemic restrictions, the company is still looking at ways to reduce costs.

Australian Newspaper

According to The Australian newspaper, job cuts may occur at its Pilbara region mining operations, but safety staff and production personnel are unlikely exempt from these reductions.

Fortescue’s Iron Bridge project is due to be finished in March, an event that has already prompted job losses. In December, FMG revealed their second iron ore operation was on track and that jobs would be reduced as the project neared completion.

The company has also shifted from hiring temporary employees to reducing roles across its operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Fortescue Metals Group is standing firm that any decisions made will be in the best interests of its workers and stakeholders. They also reiterated that any substantial changes to employee numbers must first receive board approval.

“Fortescue is a resilient organisation, and we continue to work hard on behalf of our workforce, customers and shareholders,” said the spokesperson.

Fortescue Metals Group’s share price has fallen 15 per cent since October 2020, despite its iron ore exports reaching an all-time high in December. The recent news has impacted FMG’s market performance, which is down 5.5 per cent this week.

How many workers will lose their jobs remains uncertain as Fortescue Metals Group moves forward with its cost-cutting measures. They will likely reveal the full extent of these changes once half-yearly results are published.

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