Troubled Sietas group slashes 350 jobs
Insolvent private German shipyard J.J.Sietas has announced that 250 of its remaining 700 employees will lose their jobs up to May as the facility cuts its cloth to match its order load, writes Tom Todd.
A further 100 jobs will be shed at crane subsidiary Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik (NMF) leaving about 130 employees there. The job losses were announced on 18 January in Hamburg-Neuenfelde by insolvency administrator Berthold Brinkmann and the yard’s managing director Rüdiger Fuchs. They said the yard was cutting its capacity to match its order situation and that further cuts would depend on the order situation and on whether the group succeeded in attracting a major investor.
Fuchs was quoted as saying the yard now had enough work in hand for its workforce until May, but that new orders were needed by then at the latest. The search for a new investor was “not an easy task” he added.
In December the yard received a credit of €23.2 million from the HSH Nordbank, securing financing and the continued construction of a ro-pax ferry for Sydfynske due for delivery in May and an offshore wind farm jack-up ship for van Oord for completion later in the year. Sietas is also involved in negotiations for an offshore transport and installation ship.
The yard filed for insolvency last November because it said it could not finance work in hand. The move came as a surprise because of the good work booked by the yard. That had appeared to mark a successful production switch from small container and other cargo ships to specialised vessels like heavy lift and wind farm tonnage. That in turn followed earlier job streamlining in 2009 when a third of the work force was made redundant.
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