Gina Rinehart to Roy Hill workers: Pay cuts or job losses

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Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart is requesting employees at her Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia accept pay cuts in an effort to prese...

Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart is requesting employees at her Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia accept pay cuts in an effort to preserve jobs.

In an emailed media statement, Roy Hill’s Chief Executive Barry Fitzgerald said pay cuts would help to reduce potential for future redundancies as labor accounts for one-third of Roy Hill’s cost.

“Retaining as many jobs as we can for our existing employees was one of the outcomes we were looking for from our review of rosters and remuneration,” said Fitzgerald. “We felt it was more important for our people to retain their job rather than pursue workforce reductions as a cost-saving strategy in response to market conditions.”

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The reduction in salary will affect roughly 60 percent of the workforce – about 540 workers – and cost employees five percent and 10 percent of their paycheck, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. While executive and senior management are expected to take the biggest cut in pay, there will be no salary reductions for existing employees in lower remuneration bands.

Fitzgerald also said the pay cuts will help to preserve “family friend” rosters for its operational staff, which the company considered changing from 14 days on, 10 days off, to 14 days on, seven days off.  

"We had a choice. We went to our workforce. At the workforce request we did a survey and basically the overwhelming decision that they came back with was we prefer to take a salary cut and maintain the rosters, so we didn't go down the path of two and one – we maintain the family-friendly roster."

Even after slashing salaries, Roy Hill still wouldn’t guarantee that jobs won’t be loss.

"We will not guarantee that no jobs will go," Fitzgerald said.

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