Bloomberg News

Vale Is `Adapting' Its Workforce to Cuts in Iron-Ore Production

November 21, 2008

Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world's biggest iron-ore producer, said it is ``adapting'' its workforce as the company reduces production because of declining demand and prices.

``Vale is adapting its workforce as a consequence of the 30 million-ton-per-year iron-ore production cut already announced,'' Fernando Thompson, a Vale spokesman, said today by telephone from Rio de Janeiro, where the company is based. ``Vale is making a great effort to keep its employees.''

Thompson declined to comment on a report yesterday in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that it had laid off 400 workers because of a drop in purchases from Chinese customers. Jobs were cut at a copper unit in the state of Para, a railway unit in Minas Gerais and a pellet processor in Espirito Santo, Folha said, without saying where it got the information.

Vale is trying to transfer employees from closed, high-cost mines to new, lower-cost projects, Thompson said. He said he was unable to confirm how many workers would be affected. Vale has 56,000 employees and has already ordered 2,300 employees to stay home because of plant shutdowns, Folha said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana Kinch in Rio de Janeiro

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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