BHP cuts 100 staff as iron ore nears two-year low; Victoria tops the list for days lost to industrial disputes: Midday Roundup

Engel Schmidl /

BHP Billiton has cut about 100 staff from its Perth iron ore division, in the wake of falling commodity prices, reports Fairfax.

Some of the workers affected were involved in projects that have wound down and BHP says it will assist those who have lost their job, finding them positions elsewhere in the business where possible.

BHP is the world’s largest diversified resources company and third largest iron ore producer for export.

The spot price for the metal is down to about $US92 a tonne, a near two-year low.

Victoria tops the list for days lost to industrial disputes

Almost half of all working days lost nationally due to industrial disputes in the March quarter occurred in Victoria, according to ABS statistics released this morning.

The education and training, health care and social assistance industries had the highest number of working days lost, accounting for 39% of all days.

While 57,300 workers were involved in industrial action in the quarter ending December 2013, only 5,700 walked off the job in the March quarter, an overall decrease of 90.1%.

Close to 10,000 working days were lost in total in the quarter, a decrease from 36,100 compared to December.

Australian market opens flat

Aussie shares opened flat this morning after Wall Street saw a mixed range of data yesterday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 10.8 points to 5434 points at 12:12 AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 15.19 points higher, a rise of 0.09% to 16,737.5 points.