ArcelorMittal Liberia has announced plan to reduce workforce by 20 percent, as a result of unfavorable market conditions.
According to a press release issued here Monday by the company, the pending action may affect 270 jobs related to the mine support infrastructure, and indirect contractor jobs associated with the mine.
ArcelorMittal senior executives have met personally with senior members of the Government of Liberia to explain rationale behind the company’s intentions.
The release narrated that the mining industry has been faced with significant challenges over the past year as a result of low iron ore price, which is putting pressure on producers to run their assets as efficiently as possible.
It pointed out that against this backdrop, the company has had to re-examine the competitiveness of all assets; identify the areas where costs are too high and take adequate measures in order to ensure that it remains competitive.
The release said, the review showed that at ArcelorMittal Liberia, measures to optimize costs and improve productivity with a greater focus on operational excellence are now necessary in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations here.
“We deeply regret that the current economic environment is not allowing us to maintain employment at current level; but the reality is that we are struggling to remain profitable in light of the lower iron ore price. Our priority is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the operation whilst maintaining as many jobs as possible,” the release noted.
It continued that the company understands that this is difficult news for the people, who work at the mine, who may be affected, but noted that management is in close dialogue with the union to explain the reasons for this proposal.
ArcelorMittal Liberia said it remains committed to the country and will continue to mine and ship up to 5 million tons of iron ore yearly from its operations in Yekepa and Buchanan, respectively, and negotiations with the union will continue.