The Australian Workers' Union has described Molycop's decision to cease production in steel-making and the bar mill at the Waratah site as a sad day for the Hunter region, and for the Australian steel industry.
The decision will result in 250 redundancies at the Waratah site, the AWU estimates around half of those affected will be AWU members.
AWU New South Wales Branch Secretary Tony Callinan said he and the union would be working with Molycop management to ensure all affected workers received their full entitlements and re-training opportunities.
"This announcement will come as a painful shock to workers, many of whom have worked at that site for their whole working lives," Mr Callinan said.
"This steel mill has been operating for over a century, sustaining livelihoods and the community. Today's announcement represents a sad day for the Hunter and a sad day for the Australian manufacturing industry.
"Right now our immediate focus is on working with the company to minimise the pain. Expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies from across the entire site will hopefully minimise forced redundancies and there will be re-training opportunities for those who need to continue working.”
Tony Callinan 0425 302 967 / Anil Lambert 0416 426 722