Jobs carnage as the economy sheds 3500 jobs in one morning

Some of Australia’s biggest companies have been forced to slash jobs as the economic slowdown smashes the resources, retail and mining sectors.

Some of Australia’s biggest companies have been forced to slash jobs as the economic slowdown smashes the resources, retail and mining sectors.

In a horror morning, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, David Jones and CSR have announced a total of 3565 job losses, and warned of difficult times ahead as the global economy slows.

The sackings include:

  • Around 2200 jobs cut from BHP’s Australian operation. The company has announced it will cut 6000 jobs worldwide (about 6% of its global workforce) and close its Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Western Australia, which was only officially opened in May 2008. The company has blamed falling nickel prices (nickel is a key input in stainless steel) for the closure.
  • Rio Tinto has announced 1100 jobs will be slashed in its struggling aluminum division.
  • High-end department store chain David Jones will sack 150 staff from its head office and administrative divisions as sales slow sharply. The company has also downgraded its sales and profits forecasts for 2008-09 and 2009-10 as a result of Access Economics’ dire report on the Australian economy released earlier this week.
  • Conglomerate CSR will close an industrial glass plant in Melbourne, with 115 jobs lost. The company has blamed the decline of the automotive sector for their closure.

The sackings come as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned that the outlook for the Australian economy was terrible and urged employers to do everything they could to avoid sacking workers.

“Things will get worse before they get better,” he said. “The magnitude of the global financial crisis almost beggars belief.

“We are all in this together; business, unions, governments, the community sector and every nation in the world.”

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