A key union leader has warned that there will be a “huge” number of job losses in manufacturing in the coming weeks, following BlueScope Steel’s decision to slash 1,350 positions.
Paul Howes, national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, told Sky News: “The next couple of weeks, we are going to see huge amounts of jobs in the manufacturing sector go. This is one of the worst periods Australian manufacturing has gone through since the Great Depression.”
Howes blamed a shift in the economy driven by the resources boom. Steel maker BlueScope said that it will cut jobs from its operations in Victoria and NSW.
MYOB acquired for $1.2 billion
Australia’s largest independent software firm MYOB has been acquired by Bain Capital for $1.2 billion, with UK rival Sage missing out.
It was expected that Sage, which also makes accountancy software, would snap up MYOB, but turbulence on the international finance markets allowed Bain Capital to swoop.
The deal represents a healthy return for the Archer Capital-led private equity consortium, which took control of MYOB in 2009 for $560 million.
Business leaders in IR warning
Business leaders have warned that the Fair Work Act is hampering productivity, ahead of a meeting with treasurer Wayne Swan this week.
National Australia Bank and Woodside chairman Michael Chaney told The Australian that the law needed to change to avoid unions hijacking the system and triggering unnecessary strikes.
“I believe the Fair Work Act is a sleeper that represents a serious threat to productivity,” he said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.6% or 172.93 points to 10,817.65 in Friday trade. The Australian dollar is to start trading today at 103.86 US cents.