(CBN Global) March 21 -- Ansteel Group Corp., China's oldest iron and steelmaker, will shed half of its employees to reduce its workforce to within 100,000 by 2018, and will cut the number of workers in its core steelmaking business to less than 20,000, CBN has learned from the Anshan-based company.
Staff who have been at the firm for more than 30 years or were due to retire within five years will be given early retirement, CBN has learned from several sources. The payroll budget is expected to fall between 8 percent and 10 percent this year compared with 2015, according to the latest requirements of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Ansteel will cut back on labor costs through wage level adjustments.
State-owned Ansteel was the first large iron and steel company formed after the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. It ranks among the Fortune 500 with annual sales of more than CNY100 billion (USD15.5 billion). Today, crude steel produced by Ansteel accounts for less than 5 percent of China's total output of the building material. China is the world's biggest steel-producing country.
Premier Li Keqiang said on March 16 that steel and coal production capacity should be reduced. The government will make efforts to find other jobs for steelworkers.