Publication Details

Donaldson, M and Donaldson, T, The Crisis in the Steel Industry, Journal of Australian Political Economy, 14, 1983, 33-43.


The Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) Australia's largest corporation, had a virtual monopoly on the steel industry in Australia. In the early 1980's it set about decimating its workforce, blaming an economic downturn, and demanding massive and unusual handouts from the Australian Government. This article exposes the myth of the 'crisis' in the steel industry, and reveals instead that the BHP, embarked upon a modernisation of its plant, held its workforce to ransom to extort concessions from the Government. It then destroyed nearly 4,000 jobs at its Port Kembla steelworks in Wollongong.