April 29, 2010

Portland Aluminium moves on productivity improvements

Portland Aluminium announced today the company will implement a redundancy program to support the achievement of a five per cent productivity improvement target set by Alcoa Inc for its global operations.

Operations Manager John Osborne said that based on employee information and feedback sessions, the smelter had informed its workforce that the company will now progress further redundancies as opposed to the option of revised shift arrangements. 

Further discussions will be initiated with shift-based employees on the proposed changes, in accordance with Portland Aluminium’s enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA), as well as discussions with other members of staff affected by the restructure.

“Restructuring will be implemented across all facets of the business, including operations, staff, maintenance and contractors. As an outcome of this consultative process we will determine the number of redundancies required to achieve the five percent productivity target,” John said.

While John commended the efforts of all employees to reduce costs and improve operations over the last 18 months, saying it had been outstanding, he reiterated that these efforts must continue to ensure improvements in global competitiveness.
The smelter continues to experience significant pressure from high foreign exchange rate challenges, high worldwide aluminium inventories and ongoing input cost increases. 

Portland Aluminium will develop a plan to ensure the program is managed professionally, respecting employee concerns while ensuring the smelter’s long term sustainability remains strong.

“Today’s announcement and corresponding actions are essential to meet the economic challenges ahead and ensure Portland Aluminium remains a sustainable business in the future.

“These remain difficult times for everyone and we must do what is necessary to ensure the business remains competitive within the global operation,” he said.

The five per cent productivity improvement target was issued to smelters and refineries across Alcoa’s global operations earlier this year, as part of continuing efforts to improve global competitiveness.

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