Santos cuts raise alarm for future jobs: Union

Santos rig in the Cooper Basin

Santos rig in the Cooper Basin

South Australian Unions have called on the state government to pump money into new energy and manufacturing in the wake of what looks to be a quickly dissolving commodities sector.

Jo Szakacs, state secretary for SA Unions, said Santos’ recent job cuts have again highlighted the need for the state to diversify its energy industry to save future employment.

Santos yesterday announced it was cutting 200 jobs from its Eastern Australian businesses with the vast majority set to come out of its South Australian, Cooper Basin operations.

It came less than two months after the company announced more than 500 jobs would go from its national operations and widespread cuts to capital and operational expenditure.

Santos touted the move as another step in the firm’s costs savings strategy and creating value for shareholders. 

Meanwhile, following on from a similar review of operations, Alinta Energy is moving forward with its plans to close its coal-fired power stations in Port Augusta and its outback mines from March 2018.

More than 430 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the closures.

Mr Szakacs said the latest announcements from Santos were an alarming sign of the state’s declining commodities sector and urgent need for a plan to bolster the renewable and high-tech manufacturing sectors.

“South Australia is facing a particularly precarious situation with increased volatility of global commodities, and a slow but steady decline in the consumption of fossil fuels,” he told Gas Today.

‘We need to start the serious and long—‐term work of creating jobs for the future. And we mus not forget that behind these two hundred positions lost at Santos are real workers and their families.”

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