Vedanta cost cutting sees nearly 4,000 job losses since Jan

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New Delhi | Published: September 23, 2015 9:50:55 PM

Metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources, which has a sizable presence in India in oil and gas, aluminium, iron ore and zinc sectors, has announced slashing nearly 4,000 jobs...

Vedanta refineryThe job cuts are taking place at the mining giant?s Indian arms Vedanta Aluminium, Balco, Cairn India and Sesa Goa ? the iron ore business in Goa. (Reuters)

Metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources, which has a sizable presence in India in oil and gas, aluminium, iron ore and zinc sectors, has announced slashing nearly 4,000 jobs — both direct and indirect — in the country since January this year.

The job cuts are taking place at the mining giant’s Indian arms Vedanta Aluminium, Balco, Cairn India and Sesa Goa — the iron ore business in Goa.

Of the around 4,000 job losses, about 2,700 are direct and the rest are indirect.

Balco accounts for 1,000 job cuts and Vedanta Aluminium for around 2,000. Sesa Goa as well as Cairn India have already slashed up to 450 jobs each, so far.

While Vedanta Aluminium, Balco and Sesa Goa confirmed job cuts, sources said Cairn India too had slashed jobs.

On the retrenchment, a Vedanta spokesperson said: “Global cost curve has to be kept in mind as we work in unified competitive environment and hence, cost reduction has become need of the hour so as to remain competitive in a global melt down condition which all of us have to face.”

It is with this background, the company are forced to trim the workforce and restructure the businesses and optimise costs which can suit the new operating level, the spokesperson added.

“Our local management teams are actively managing this with their local stakeholders,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Balco, a part of NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd, announced that it has started the process of shutting down its rolling mill in Korba (Chhattisgarh).

The shutdown of the rolling division, which is part of a restructuring exercise by Balco, will result in loss of around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, it had said.

Vedanta Ltd, earlier Sesa Sterlite, holds 51 per cent stake in Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), while the remaining is held by the government.

During September itself, multiple sources told PTI that Vedanta has initiated a major cost cutting drive at its iron ore business in Goa (Sesa Goa) amid subdued market sentiment and depressed prices of the commodity in global markets.

The cost cutting drive includes slashing up to 450 jobs through Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) and identifying buyers to liquidate non-productive land and other properties.

While around 400-450 jobs have been cut, which includes close to 100-120 permanent positions, sources said there could be more job cuts in the pipeline.

Last month, Vedanta Aluminium’s chief executive Abhijit Pati said the firm has started closure of one of the production streams, which will lead to the Lanjigarh facility’s output declining by half.

On impact of the shutdown on jobs, Pati had said it “will impact about 2,000 jobs, both direct and indirect.”

Since February this year, Cairn India has sacked around 450 employees to maintain its top and bottom line as it feels the pinch from a fall in global crude prices.

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